A day after the fire, a popular Indian restaurant is selling holiday sweets again

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“I am very grateful to the firefighters and their quick response to save the store and prevent further damage.”

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Less than 24 hours after a fire put an end to its activity, a popular Indian restaurant in Orleans is back serving customers, offering treats to commemorate the first day of Diwali, one of the biggest holidays in ‘South East Asia.

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Ottawa firefighters responded to reports of smoke at the Rangoli Indian Cuisine and Sweets shortly after 5 p.m. Wednesday and arrived in time to douse the flames on the roof before they spread.

The fire, which was in the heating and ventilation system, was extinguished in seven minutes and did not reach the interior of the one-story building, the Ottawa Fire Service said.

Firefighters quickly brought a fire on the roof of a restaurant in Orleans under control.
Firefighters quickly brought a fire on the roof of a restaurant in Orleans under control. Photo by Photo provided /Ottawa Fire Services

Owner Charanjit Singh said Ottawa Public Health assessed the scene and concluded that since the fire had not reached the cooling system or the front of the store, it would be safe to continue selling candy.

“I am very grateful to the firefighters and their quick response to save the store and prevent further damage,” he said.

For Singh, being able to open the store to celebrate Diwali holds special significance after not being able to do so last year due to COVID-19 restrictions.

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“There were very few activities because you couldn’t go to someone’s house, to a friend’s house or even to family’s house, but this year people really want to enjoy today and celebrate it,” said he explained.

Diwali, known as the Festival of Lights, is one of the biggest celebrations for Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and some Buddhists, and it symbolizes the spiritual victory of light over darkness. Sweets are usually offered during Diwali, while special candles called diyas are displayed.

In the spirit of the holidays, Rangoli offers 40 different Indian sweets and candles that customers can light.

Singh says it is the biggest “Hindu festival” and like “Christmas in India”, although it is celebrated all over the world.

Diwali, he said, is also a time for people to dress in their best and decorate their spaces with candles and rangolis, which are colorful art circle designs.

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Reflecting on Wednesday’s events, Singh said he was very grateful and grateful for the immense support from the local Indian community, as well as the Orleans community at large.

The Community Business Improvement Area – Heart of Orleans BIA – took to social media after the fire to rally support for the restaurant, noting that while it was closed for meals, it could always serve sweets.

Meanwhile, Innes Ward Councilor and Deputy Mayor Laura Dudas took to Twitter to thank the firefighters for their quick response and say her thoughts are with the owners of Rangoli, which she said was a restaurant in the region “highly appreciated”.

“We really appreciate not just the Indian community, but the entire Orleans community who have been so helpful,” Singh said.

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