MILLBURN, NJ – A faulty soda machine was the apparent culprit that started a fire this morning that heavily damaged the Sakura restaurant on Essex Street, according to its owners. 

The restaurant’s owners, Eric and Sum (requested that the last name not be published), said the fire started at approximately 1 a.m. The root cause is under investigation.

“Thank God that we were closed and no one was hurt,” said owner Eric. 

Sign Up for E-News

The fire spread throughout the kitchen, completely devastating the back of the restaurant. The dining area did not have any damage directly from flames but suffered severe collateral damage from smoke and fire-fighting efforts.

“We’ve been here [Millburn] for more than 10 years and this is the first fire we’ve ever had,” said Sum. “It’ll take at least six to nine months before we are back in business.”

Eric and Sum believe their insurance is will cover their losses and they intend to rebuild the restaurant as soon as they can. Sum said that they have had a lot of calls this morning from loyal customers and friends who offered assistance. Under the circumstances, the two restaurant owners seemed to be taking the situation well and expressed that they look forward to cleaning up and starting again. 

The fire damage appears to be restricted to the Sakura restaurant, with no visible damage to nearby buildings.