Hope everyone had a fun and — more importantly — safe Chinese New Year on Thursday night. By safe we mean: you didn’t break a window, did you? You didn’t burn anything down? Because there was both a broken window and a HUGE-ASS FIRE at 4corners, the Gulou bar with the healthy reputation for holding uproarious and unpredictable parties.
Never mind about the window, which might deserve a few more words if not for HUGE-ASS FIRE. The blaze — short-lived, thankfully — began shortly after midnight during the (comparatively tame) fireworks show. According to 4corners co-owner Tavey Lin, witnesses said the blaze was caused by “some asshole dude” pointing a roman candle at the hutong rooftops. Those witnesses may or may not have been as drunk as the rest of us, but it’s certainly plausible: you probably know an asshole or two who might have done that.
“One such witness told him off but to no avail,” Lin wrote to us in an email. “Really any number of things could have caused the fire, including a rather spectacular stunt involving the Jing A Kegg Egg a while earlier, but shortly thereafter a fire was noticed on the far side of the tent, which rested in a cul-de-sac mostly out of view.”
Fire extinguishers were brought out but the fire was already too large by the time it was noticed. Several customers jumped out to help drag the burning tent into the lot away from the homes and pour buckets of water on the last of the flames.
Lin and co-owner Jun reacted quickly and responsibly, so big props to them. Look at the video above, taken by Shannon Aliza. That’s a fire that, had it spread onto the wood rooftops of the nearby hutong buildings, could’ve burned a lot longer.
“Jun’s quick decision to pull the burning tent into the lot away from the homes… possibly saved the roofs of the nearby houses from catching fire,” Lin said.
An angry neighbor came by, followed by cops, but the 4corners owners are in no legal trouble. (They just have to pay for the burnt tent and the cleanup.) If you are asshole responsible for this, please realize that you’re the reason the rest of us can’t have nice things. Do reflect.