Smokey Blaze Closes Popular Shangri-la Restaurant On Belmont Street

Photo: The closed restaurant Shangri-la on Belmont Street 

A favorite Taiwanese restaurant on the Belmont/Watertown/Cambridge lines is closed after a smokey fire emanating from the kitchen brought the entire Belmont Fire Department to the scene on Saturday afternoon, July 21.

Heavy, black smoke billowed from the front and back doors of Shangri-la at 149 Belmont St. as passersby called in the fire to Belmont dispatch “at 3;34 p.m.,” and then confirmed by an off-duty police officer, according to Belmont Fire Chief David L. Frizzell who was at the scene. The blaze reached the level of a “working fire.” 

The fire, located in the cook line, started when an employee was using a wok with oil. Belmont Street inbound toward Cushing Square was closed as apparatus from Belmont and Watertown arrived with Belmont and Watertown police. Mutual aid came from Cambridge and Arlington which manned Belmont’s stations.

After a few minutes, “the fire was contained to the [kitchen] and no [firefighter] was injured,” said Frizzell.

The blaze appeared to remain in the kitchen and did not jump to the walls or the building’s superstructure, said Frizzell. The fire remains under investigation and investigators could later request that “things be pulled apart” to search for hot spots. 

“But they have a lot of cleaning up to do,” said the chief.