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Strip Mall Fire Destroys Hayward Sushi Bar

HAYWARD (CBS SF) - A fire destroyed a Hayward sushi bar and restaurant early Friday morning, a fire captain said.

The fire threatened other businesses connected to the Naked Fish Japanese Cuisine, located at 24703 Amador St. in a strip mall, but firefighters were able to contain the blaze before it spread elsewhere, fire Capt. Thor Poulsen said.

A witness reported flames coming from the back of the building at about 12:50 a.m., Poulsen said.

Responding firefighters found a little bit of smoke in the back, and when they broke through the front door, heavy black smoke poured out.

The firefighters then went to the roof and ventilated the super-heated gases that had built up inside the building, helping them put out the fire and keep it from spreading.

The fire was extinguished at about 1:10 a.m.

"Fire generates a lot of pressure and uses up the oxygen in the room," Poulsen said. "If you release it at its highest, most vertical place, it helps keep it from spreading laterally."

The firefighters used carbide-tipped chain saws to cut rectangular holes in the roof and release the gases, he said.

Ventilating burning buildings cools off the interiors so firefighters can enter and see the flames better, he said.

Firefighters found the fire, which caused an estimated $100,000 in damage, in the kitchen in the back of the restaurant.

"It looks like the business is a complete and total loss," Poulsen said.

He said the restaurant would have been spared most of the damage if the fire had been caught sooner.

The building did not have a sprinkler system.

"The message is if you're in a non-sprinkler business, to have your smoke detector monitored by an outside company," Poulsen said.

He said a Metro PCS store on the left side of the restaurant also suffered some water damage and was closed Friday for repairs.

Firefighters remained at the scene until about 6 a.m. looking for hot spots and checking the walls for fire.

A total of 29 personnel responded to the fire, including two battalion chiefs, seven engines and two truck companies.

The cause of the fire had not been released as of late Friday morning, but it did not appear to be suspicious, Poulsen said.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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