Price city’s hottest new restaurant, the Asian Bistro, erupted in flames in the early morning hours on January 9. Price City Fire Department was dispatched at 2:55 a.m. Fifty firefighters from Price, Wellington, and Helper arrived on the scene. Shortly after their arrival, the roof collapsed.
Fire Chief Fitzgerald Petersen said there were no injuries, but the building was a total loss. Petersen would not confirm if it was an electrical fire, or rule out foul play, saying that an investigation by state fire marshals will take months.
The operation lasted three hours because the roof collapsed and it became a “defensive fire,” said Petersen, who joined the department in 2019. “It was the biggest structure fire I’ve been on locally.”
“I think we will deal with these disasters as soon as possible,” restaurant owner Zoe Zhang posted on Facebook. “We will rebuild as soon as possible. I hope everyone can wait. The Asian Bistro will take on a new look.”
The building at 400 E. Main, across the street from McDonald’s, was originally a Sonic Drive-In that opened in 2001, but soon closed. It sat vacant, then was Beto’s Mexican Restaurant from 2014-2018. It was abandoned again for three years and tall weeds overwhelmed the lot.
The building burst to life in November. The lot was cleaned up, the building painted, colorful flags and lunchtime specials celebrated its rebirth. The Asian Bistro was getting rave reviews in the community.