FIRE investigators say it was lucky the Mount Clear fire that destroyed the Midvale fish and chip shop did not cause more damage that it did.
It has been estimated the blaze caused at least $200,000 damage on Tuesday night, although it could easily have been far worse.
It is believed the owners of the shop were overseas at the time.
Nearby shops such as St Vincent de Paul and Midvale Meats suffered extensive water and smoke damage and both remained closed yesterday.
The fish and chip shop was completely burnt out, was roped off by the CFA and had all its windows broken yesterday.
CFA district 15 acting operations officer Anthony Pearce said it appeared the deep fryer in the shop had started the blaze, but it was yet to be determined if it was left on or not.
The shop was shut at the time.
“It doesn’t appear it was suspicious. As you can imagine the owners are fairly devastated,” he said.
“The message is to be extremely careful with equipment such as deep fryers. Make sure they are in full working order and are regularly checked.”
Rob Hughes, owner of Midvale Meats, said if the fire engulfed his shop, the damage bill would have reached hundreds of thousands of dollars.
His store will still remain closed for tomorrow at least.
“It’ll hurt a bit that’s for sure,” he said.
“We have five or six staff who will be out of work for a few days at least.
“We still consider ourselves lucky however because we have about $250,000 in equipment out the back.”