A huge fire broke out in Harrogate March 18th, which damaged an Italian restaurant and four flats.
It is believed the blaze started in the kitchen’s extraction fan or ducting in Prezzo and, at the peak of the fire, approximately 90 firefighters and 18 fire engines were on the scene tackling it.
Crews used jets and aerial ladder platforms in their attempts to contain the blaze, which was first reported to North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (NYFRS) at 11:37 GMT.
By 13:30 GMT the flames had spread to the first floor and Station Parade on Albert Street was closed, while the police requested locals avoided the area. At 15:00 GMT the blaze had reached the roof.
The fire caused a large amount of smoke, so nearby houses and businesses were advised to keep their windows shut to minimise its effects.
An update at 01:30 GMT this morning from NYFRS revealed the incident had been scaled down and just one fire engine and one aerial ladder platform remained at the scene to monitor it overnight.
The flats above the restaurant had a smoke alarm that was going off intermittently from 08:00 GMT yesterday, according to the Harrogate Advertiser. Resident Allan Tennant assumed they were being tested, until he started smelling smoke.
Area commander for Harrogate fire service Lee Smith was quoted by the paper as saying the force had taken precautionary measures to reduce the blaze’s impact.
“I imagine a lot of stairs will have been burnt away and the walls have come down. It’s a very complicated and difficult fire. There are lots of spaces between windows and floors, which is allowing the fire to move around the building.
“It’s part of the design of these old buildings in Harrogate. It’s full of nooks and crannies allowing the fire to spread.”
A statement from NYFRS praised the quick arrival and work of the fire service, which prevented the fire spreading to the adjacent building and properties. It said nobody was believed to have been injured as a result of the flames, although several small pets were still unaccounted for.
Commercial buildings, non-domestic and multi-occupancy premises in England and Wales are already forced to undertake a ‘suitable and sufficient’ fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
While the overwhelming majority of premises do this, if the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.