THIENSVILLE, Wis. - During what's already been a tough year on Main Street and for the service industry as a whole, a downtown Thiensville staple suffered another loss Sunday, Nov. 8. Firefighters from a handful of departments worked to extinguish a fire at "the cheel." No one was hurt, but the building appeared to have suffered heavy damage.
Fire officials responded shortly after 3 p.m. and found heavy fire coming from the building. The upstairs residents were able to evacuate. The restaurant was not open at the time.
"Due to the complications of an older structure," officials said this fire was difficult to extinguish and required a third alarm for more personnel. Units assisted from Ozaukee, Washington, Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties.
The building was deemed uninhabitable in the wake of the fire. The two upper residents were displaced.
"This building should've been down on the ground," said Jesse Daily, owner.
As night fell Sunday, memories flashed between emergency lights for Jesse and Barkha Daily. They opened "the cheel" in 2014, saving a 19th Century building from demolition with a unique Himalayan menu.
"They would taste food that they'd never had before in their life," said Jesse Daily. "They would come in and experience a great bar, great staff, great everything."
That culture, from restoring the building to generating a customer base was all the Dailys could think about while watching from behind the caution tape -- all their hard works suddenly gone.
"I think to see your dreams to go up in smoke, this was a physical reiteration of what it looks like," said Barkha Daily. "There's memory everywhere."
But even in the face of heartbreak, they're focused on opportunity through symbolism. Atop the building stands a sculpted eagle. "The cheel" means eagle in Nepalese, and Sunday, that became the owners' beacon of hope.
"We will rebuild," said Jesse Daily. "We will survive. The reason is because that eagle's still up there. We'll be back."
"I truly believe we will recover," said Barkha Daily. "I don't know how, and I hope we will and I have a belief that we will."
Investigators are looking into the cause of the fire.