Julius Wise chalked it up to his “unlucky day.”
“I had an opportunity to park in the garage but ended up parking in an empty spot in front of Ken Hong (Restaurant),” said Wise from an alleyway leading to Albert Street. “It’s a shock, no doubt, and Ken Hong is an institution around here.”
Wise’s shock Thursday morning came from seeing his 2005 Toyota Avalon caught up in the battle to control a massive fire on Albert Street.
As he watched from the alleyway, Wise could see firefighters surrounding his car holding hoses that spewed litres and litres of water into Ken Hong Restaurant and War on Music.
Wise said he was attending a financial meeting on the 17th floor of 201 Portage Ave. when he and another man noticed the smoke billowing up.
“I said, ‘Gee, there’s a lot of smoke outside of the window’ and he said, ‘They’re probably drilling concrete or something,’” recalled Wise. “Then I saw the fire trucks and the police and rushed downstairs, ‘Oh no, that’s my car out there.’
“They won’t let me remove it right now.”
Wise was more upset to see the loss of Ken Hong Restaurant, which he often visited over the years.
After consulting with a fire official on scene and finding out that it’ll take at least three or four hours before people would be allowed back into the area, Wise called his nephew for a ride.
“I’m going to take it to MPI to check it out and see if the water caused any damage and the smell of the smoke (damaged it),” said Wise. “It was my unlucky day, I guess.”