Community Rally Together To Raise Funds After Fire in Silver Spring (VIDEO)
The community comes together to help local business owners after a fire on March 19 destroyed Bombay Gaylord Restaurant, damaged the famous Quarry House Tavern and two other restaurants including Kefa Cafe and the Mandarin Chinese restaurant.
Approximately 100 Montgomery County firefighters responded to the blaze that started at 1 a.m. at 8401 Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring. Bombay is located above the Quarry House- a bar that has been part of the community since 1934.
Lene Tsegaye, co-owner of Kefa Cafe, located behind Bombay Gaylord on adjacent Bonifant Street, said the smell of smoke was still strong inside Kefa. Tsegaye said the coffee shop will be closed for approximately two weeks.
While giving an interview over the phone, Tsegaye said Kefa’s insurance company representatives were at the shop to verify damages and determine the cost to have the place reopen for business.
She also said residents came to Kefa and asked “what they could do to help.” Tsegaye said people want to clean, put things away, and have the place like new.
“They [insurance company] didn’t think it would be that bad … It [the cleaning] has to be done by professionals … No one got hurt, and that’s the main thing,” she said.
The fire caused between $750,000 and $1 million in damages to several restaurants, according to Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service Spokesperson Pete Piringer.
Piringer said there was no “criminal intent” and the initial report is that the cause of the blaze was an electrical problem “up in the ceiling” of the Gaylord Restaurant.
Fire official said 12 people were displaced. They were living above the Mandarin; a place that was not zoned for residential occupancy.
Piringer said fire department officials contacted the Red Cross about the displaced residents who were unharmed by the fire.