Shop owner hurt after kitchen catches fire

A BALLARAT man was already back at the front counter of his Webster Street store yesterday only hours after his kitchen went up in flames. 

Ian Poon, the owner of Poon’s Chinese Takeaway, spoke to The Courier yesterday afternoon after being taken to hospital earlier in the morning. 

Mr Poon attempted to battle the blaze, which started from a wok used in the kitchen. 

He had turned on the wok before heading out to the store to serve a customer. 

“The bells rang, so I came out here and served a couple of customers and tidied up a bit,” Mr Poon said.

“It was a big fire, I heard the noises so I went in there and saw it.”

Mr Poon’s first thought was to get a fire extinguisher and try and put out the flames, however, to do so he was forced to walk near the front of the fire causing a burn to the top of his head. 

“I pushed the fire down a bit but not much; a customer came in and told me to get out,” he said 

“The fire brigade came in and put it out quickly.” 

Three fire trucks were seen outside the milkbar, just after 8am.

Ballarat City senior station officer Mal Jones said Mr Poon had received treatment after suffering from smoke inhalation as a result of the incident.

While there is only minor damage to the building Mr Poon said he would no longer be able to cook his famous Chinese take-away food until a new kitchen had been built at the store. However, Mr Poon was already back serving customers at the front of the store yesterday and said residents would still be able to drop in and get all of the other items the store sells. 

“We are just lucky everyone is alright, this sort of thing just happens,” he said.