Cafe owners vow to rebuild

Iconic family business loses kitchen

KITCHEN DESTROYED BY FIRE: King River Cafe owner, Ben Bonwick, has been left with a gutted kitchen after it was destroyed by fire yesterday morning. PHOTO: Luke Plummer

THE owners of Oxley’s King River Cafe have vowed to rebuild their kitchen, which was destroyed by fire early yesterday morning.

Cafe owners, Ben and Judy Bonwick, received a call from Mrs Bonwick’s parent just before 5am, who had been staying at the back of the cafe and got out of the building safely after seeing smoke.

About 40 firefighters from Glenrowan, Milawa, Oxley, South Wangaratta and Wangaratta were quickly on the scene and took about 30 minutes to bring the fire under control.

Mr Bonwick said he initially tried to fight the fire with a garden hose, but it was too big.

He said the kitchen and a section of the roof was destroyed, but luckily, the original 1860s timber in the building was not damaged.

“I’m really relieved that no one was seriously hurt, this can all be replaced,” Mr Bonwick said.

“It would have been tragic to lose it… It’s been our flesh and blood for the last 14 years.”

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