The Topanga Cafe fire was likely caused by a discarded cigarette

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Adrian Cunningham took this photo as fire crews battled the fire that broke out this morning on West Fourth Avenue. Photo Adrian Cunningham

News 1130 is reporting that the likely cause of the fire that consumed the beloved Topanga Cafe in Kitsilano was a discarded cigarette or “some other smoking-related material”.

They’re quoting Vancouver fire captain Jonathan Gormick as saying that “It appears to have started near the rear of the building and that’s one of the reasons that they’re considering discarded smoking material as one of the potential causes.”

The fire occurred last Wednesday morning, engulfing several businesses on the south side of West Fourth Avenue between Macdonald and Bayswater streets.

The Topanga Cafe was opened 40 years ago by Helen Zallen with her three sons Joe, Tom and Morris, all from Los Angeles, Calif. Missing the California-style Mexican food they loved so much at home, the family decided to open up their own restaurant.

Multiple GoFundMe campaigns have popped up to support locals who lost their belongings in the blaze which took out residential suites as well as the decades-old establishment.

With files from Sandra Thomas

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Bob is our founder and Editor-in-Chief. A family man and outdoors enthusiast in his 3rd decade of publishing, he steers the V.I.A. ship and hosts our 'BC Was Awesome' history TV show. bobk@vancouverisawesome.com