CANNON BEACH - A structure fire gutted a landmark restaurant in Cannon Beach early on Thursday morning, and had begun to spread to a neighboring building before the Cannon Beach Firefighters extinguished it.

Cannon Beach Fire and Rescue Lieutenant Matt Gardner said that the Bistro Restaurant was a “total loss” after the fire. No one was in the building at the time of the fire, and none of the firefighters battling the blaze were injured.

According to Seaside Dispatch the initial call about the blaze came at 1:06 a.m. on July 12. Gardner said that a Cannon Beach Police officer made the initial call about the fire after spotting it while on patrol.

“We were able to get a lot of water on it quick, which stopped the spread to the south building, which is visually just a few inches away,” said Gardner.

The building next door to the Bistro, which contains Seasons Café, has visible scorch marks on it, but Gardner said that the fire did not seriously damage it.

Firefighters entered the Bistro to battle the blaze. Although the building is still standing it was gutted by the fire.

Gardner said that the fire department’s response was quick.

“All in all, it was a good job,” he said, “but it is a sad situation.”

Matt Dueber, the Bistro Restaurant’s owner, said that he feels bad for his staff, which is now out of work.

“The timing of it couldn’t be worse,” he said, “It’s just the start of summer.”

Dueber said that he was called about the fire in the middle of the night and he immediately felt panic and dread.

When Dueber arrived the fire was out, but the building was still smoking.

Dueber started the restaurant more than 25 years ago. He said that he had “lost his livelihood” to the fire, but he was thankful that no one was hurt.

“I’m already touched by the number of people who have offered to help,” he said.

Lolly Allsop, a bartender at the Bistro who had worked there for four years, said that she didn’t hear about the fire until later in the morning. She said her initial reaction to seeing the restaurant after the fire was shock.

“It was heart wrenching and felt terrible,” she said.

Allsop said she first went to the Bistro at age four, and the restaurant has always had special meaning for her and her family.

“It’s been home for my family for as long as I’ve been here.”

Allsop said that the Bistro was an important part of Cannon Beach.

“This is taking such a toll on me personally, but I think it takes a toll on the town to not have something that’s been such a staple.”

As of press time the fire marshal was inspecting the building and the cause of the blaze was not known.

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