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Overnight fire destroys Surf Rider in Poquoson

The Surf Rider restaurant went up in flames Wednesday morning, June 12, 2019. (WYDaly/Courtesy of 13NewsNow)
The Surf Rider restaurant went up in flames Wednesday morning, June 12, 2019. (WYDaly/Courtesy of 13NewsNow)

A well-known seafood restaurant in Poquoson went up in flames Wednesday morning, and fire officials are calling it “pretty much a total loss.”

“It’s under investigation right now,” said John Young, battalion chief for the Poquoson Fire Department.

The call for the fire came in around 2:15 a.m. and a second alarm was called because of the intensity of the blaze.

Additional crews from Hampton, York County and Langley Air Force Base came to the scene off of Rens Road. Firefighters also used York County’s and Poquoson’s fire boats to fight it from White House Cove.

Hazmat teams were also called out as fire crews worked to put out the flames.

The fire was under control within the hour, Young said. It was officially out at 8 a.m., Young said.

The restaurant, which opened seven years ago, had become a staple in the community.

While Surf Rider was the main location of the fire, four nearby boats had cosmetic damage, Young said.

There were no reports of injuries.

“It’s under investigation right now,” Young said.

John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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