The sound you’re hearing right now is the sound of a city of soup-loving Melburnians collectively breathing a sigh of relief, after their spiritual home Laksa King narrowly dodged catastrophe following a hectic kitchen fire earlier today.
Laksa King, an absolute institution and haven of delicious hot flavoured water situated in the city-fringe suburb of Flemington, had to be evacuated just prior to lunch service today, after an oil fire broke out in the kitchen during preparation. The restaurant quickly filled with acrid black smoke, forcing the evacuation of the building as fire crews were called in.
However a delay in the fire crew’s arrival, couple with concern about the fire spreading to neighbouring buildings, caused neighbouring business owners to spring into action.
Michael Vass and Rakesh Ramachandran, who own the nearby Curry Café (the business’s recently-opened second location, having previously set up shop in Northcote) leapt into action after the smell of smoke made its way into their building’s kitchen.
Knowing that if flames reached exhaust vents above the kitchen, it could ignite built up oil which would send the whole building, and those around it, up in flames, the pair grabbed fire extinguishers from their building and attended the blaze inside Laksa King. Ramachandran, as it turns out, is a former off-shore oil rig worker with training and experience fighting large oil fires, which is about as good a stroke of luck as you’re ever likely to see in a situation like this.
The fire was fully extinguished before midday, saving Laksa King from any serious damage, which is good news for people keen on a bowl of hot spicy water in the near future.
Soup for the soup gods, all praise be to Laksa King. Long may it live.