Updated: April 6, 5:15 p.m.
By Andrea Swayne
The Orange County Fire Authority responded to a call at 1:50 a.m. Monday at the Wind & Sea Restaurant in Dana Point Harbor, officials said.
According to OCFA Capt. Steve Concialdi, approximately 30 firefighters had the blaze under control by 2:35 a.m.
“Firefighters made an aggressive attack on the fire and did an astounding job of saving most of the restaurant,” Concialdi said. “The cause of the fire was found to be pyrolysis, a drying out of the wood due to long term exposure to heat. Significant heat transfer was found where bolts went through the back of the stove area into the wood behind it and ignited it.”
Concialdi said damage to the structure has been estimated at $100,000 and $20,000 to the contents.
No one was in the building at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported.
The fire started in and was limited to the small auxiliary kitchen next to the bar. That small secondary kitchen is located in a sort of one-story “bump out,” built sticking outside of the four walls of the main structure.
The main kitchen, dining room and the bar itself were not damaged by fire or smoke. Restoration crews were on scene quickly working to clean up the interior damage, most of which was caused by water.
“Harbor Patrol spotted flames on the outside and firefighters from Capo Beach got here in under five minutes,” said restaurant owner Bob Mardian. “They were smart and busted right through our front door and fought the fire by shooting water outward from our second-floor banquet room, so no flames got to the interior of the building anywhere. It was a miracle job by the fire department because this building—43 years old—is just old, old wood and if it had gotten to the roof, the whole thing would have gone up … They’re as good as they get.”
Shortly before 9 a.m. Mardian said he is hoping to be open for dinner, pending an OK from building and health inspectors. The restaurant posted updates to their Facebook and Instagram pages throughout the day to keep customers informed.
The bar, lounge and dining room opened at 5:30 p.m. however, the patio remains closed.