Discarded cigarette thought to be cause of fire at Cambridge restaurant

Discarded cigarette thought to be cause of fire at Cambridge restaurant

A discarded cigarette is thought to have been the cause of a fire which ripped through the roof of a Cambridge restaurant at the weekend.

The blaze at India House restaurant in Newnham Road started shortly before 4pm on Sunday and has left a hole in the roof space.

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service sent five crews to the scene where they remained until 8.10pm that evening.

A spokesman for the service said the fire at the Indian restaurant was caused by discarded smoking materials.

Station Commander Scott Feveyear, the officer in charge at the incident, said: “The most likely cause of the fire was a cigarette that was placed in a plastic container that wasn’t fully extinguished.

“It is important that any smoking material is fully extinguished in a container that doesn’t burn, preferably a metal one. Tobacco is designed to stay alight and as a result, cigarettes can easily start an accidental fire so make sure you have put it out properly.”

As reported in the News yesterday, Lawrence Austen and Marco Meile of Granta Punting used a punt pole to smash a window of the building to alert two of the restaurant’s staff who were sleeping in an upstairs room.

The pair were joined by a group of around four Pokemon Go players nearby who started banging on the windows of the restaurant and shouting.

They called the fire brigade who arrived at the scene of the roof fire very quickly.

Fortunately, the occupants were not injured.

Luke Hall, 45, of Wilburton, saw the drama unfold while he was out with his four-and-a-half-year-old son.

The web designer saw the men smash the top windows to get the occupants attention.

“It was very smokey,” he told the News. “They started breaking the windows. It woke the guys up they had to run across some pretty hot ground to get out.

“The fire response was very quick. They cleared it up well.”

No one was at the restaurant yesterday when the News went to visit, but a message on the restaurant’s Facebook page posted on Sunday evening said: “Due to unforeseen circumstances the restaurant is now closed until further notice.”

According to the page, the picturesque listed building was first built in 1604 and then rebuilt 1903.

Original source: Cambridge News

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