A fire broke out early yesterday at a Taipei restaurant that offers work opportunities to young Hong Kongers who have fled the territory amid a crackdown on protesters, the Taipei Fire Department said.
No injuries were reported, it added.
Forty-one firefighters and more than a dozen fire engines were dispatched to extinguish the blaze at the Aegis restaurant near Xinsheng Road after it was reported at about 4am, it said.
The fire was extinguished at 4:12am, the department added.
Security camera footage from the site did not show any suspicious activity ahead of the fire, police said, adding that the incident is under investigation.
The restaurant’s operator later wrote on Facebook that the fire caused extensive damage.
“Machines, goods, furniture and ingredients were all destroyed in the fire, with heavy losses,” they said, adding that service has been suspended until further notice.
The Aegis was opened in April last year by Daniel Wong (黃國桐), a Hong Kong lawyer and politician who provided free legal services to demonstrators detained during protests in 2019.
The initially peaceful protests, which later turned destructive and violent, were sparked by proposed legislation that would have allowed the Hong Kong government to extradite criminal suspects detained in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan for trial in China.
The bill was later withdrawn by the government.
Beijing in June last year imposed a National Security Law on Hong Kong, saying that it was necessary to restore order in the former British colony.
Many of those involved in the protests have since fled Hong Kong as they fear further erosions of the territory’s freedoms granted by Beijing under the “one country, two systems” formula.
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