Less than a week after a massive fire gutted a building on King Street North, demolition crews were on scene to tear it down.

A fire broke out in the building containing Ish and Chips, a vacant convenience store and two apartments last Thursday afternoon.

Heavy smoke blanketed Uptown Waterloo as firefighters tried to get the flames under control and protect neighbouring buildings.

While a large crowd gathered to watch the activity, only a select few were on hand to watch the building be torn down on Wednesday.

That includes Kamil Mytnik and his father, the owners of the popular eatery Ish and Chips, which was reduced to rubble.

“Heart and soul, I would say, is an understatement. My mom put a lot of blood and sweat into it for the past three years,” Mytnik says.

The restaurant had been serving the area for over two years, and Mytnik says “It’s very painful, more so when I saw it up in smoke.”

John Percy with Waterloo Fire and Rescue says the conditions were challenging “It was a nice sunny day like today, but it was windy and what happened was at certain portions during the fire it made it very difficult for the firefighters because the winds were so strong.”

Fortunately, damage to neighbouring structures was minimal.

Kate Geo works at the neighbouring Mom’s Tattoo Parlour and live above it, but hasn’t been home since the fire.

 “I was terrified, I thought my whole life was going to be done in three seconds…It’s a little too stressful being there. A lot of our windows were cracked up, I don’t know if it’s from the heat or the water.”

The Mytniks are out of work for the moment, but say they are hoping to rebuild in the same area and pick up where they left off.

“When it comes back it’ll definitely be Ish and Chips.”

The demolition and cleanup is expected to be completed by Friday, but the cause of the fire is still under investigation.