Firefighters from Leesburg, Purcellville and Ashburn worked Saturday morning to battle a fire that began in the Yummy Pig restaurant on West Market Street.
The fire was reported around 11:30 a.m. jan. 23. Heavy black smoke was seen pouring from the two-story building as crews arrived on the scene. The ground floor fire was quickly extinguished, but an extension through the walls carried flames to the second floor, home to the Wild Geese Pub, requiring more work.
Around 1 p.m. the scene was turned over the the Fire Marshal’s Office for investigation.
Jim Thompson, owner of both Yummy Pig and Wild Geese Pub, said Saturday afternoon he was still processing the events of the day. He had not been able to access the building as of Saturday afternoon, as the fire marshal continues the investigation, but said he heard from firefighters on the scene that the damage to the interior of the building was extensive.
Thompson said no customers were inside either establishment when staff members noticed fire and smoke emanating from the kitchen. He said the chef attempted to put out the fire by using an extinguisher but was unsuccessful. At that point, the four staff members present in the building safely evacuated. Thompson said everything in the kitchen was up-to-date, cleaned and had passed inspections, leaving the cause of the fire a mystery to him.
“It’s just as much a surprise to us as it is to everybody else,” he said.
Thompson said the extensive insurance coverage on the building and a supportive landlord in Michael O’Connor will make reopening both businesses possible, but said it could be several months until that happens.
“I didn’t go through COVID and struggle last year to let a fire keep me down,” he said resolutely.