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Lido restaurant remains closed after suspicious van and bus fire

A surveillance video from the adjacent building shows a man in the area around the time of the blaze, but so far police have made no arrests
Lido co-owner Steve Jackson with a bus and van that were destroyed by a suspected arson fire last week on Wharf Street. Several windows in the restaurant were blown out by the heat. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

Lido Waterfront Bar and Bistro on Wharf Street remains closed after a van and bus parked next to it were destroyed in a suspicious fire last week.

“There were 11 windows that were busted out of Lido because of the heat,” said co-owner Steve Jackson.

The van and bus are part of a second business run by Lido’s owners from their Wharf Street location, he said.

Golf Central, which the owners have operated since 1995, runs out of an office in the back of Lido, which launched in 2009. Golf Central organizes golf tours, about 75 per cent of which are on Vancouver Island.

Lido is on the water side of the Victoria Regent Hotel, with which it works closely, Jackson said.

The incident started just after midnight last Friday with a fire in the van that spread to the ­28-person bus beside it, Jackson said.

Luckily, a second bus was off-site at Cordova Bay Golf Course, he said.

Jackson said the damage to Lido should take a couple of weeks to repair.

A surveillance video from an adjacent building housing Finn’s restaurant shows a man in the area around the time of the blaze, he said.

Victoria police continue to investigate the fire but have so far made no arrests.

Jackson said he found out about the blaze in a 12:30 a.m. phone call from the fire department.

“They said: ‘I understand that you’re the contact person. There’s a vehicle that’s on fire in front of your business.’ ”

Jackson was at the scene in about 20 minutes, just after the fire was extinguished.

“The forensic people came in after the smoke settled, so to speak,” he said. “There was a lot of fire-suppressant foam ­everywhere.” Fortunately, the fire didn’t happen during the key months of the year, Jackson said.

“At this point, it’s not in the middle of the busy season both for Golf Central and for Lido,” he said. “Basically from mid-October through till March 1, historically for the last 15 years, we’ve just done private parties and events.”

A private party was held just prior to the fire, Jackson said, and a few more have had to be cancelled while the windows are replaced.

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