THE owner of the Thai Boathouse expects his Stratford-upon-Avon restaurant to be shut for two to three months after a fire gutted the kitchen on Saturday night.
Thick smoke clouded the Stratford night sky and people were left stranded in a car park for over an hour while firefighters tackled the blaze in the restaurant on the banks of the River Avon.
Two crews from Stratford and one from Leamington rushed to the scene at midnight to tackle the fire and four firefighters had to use breathing apparatus to deal with the smoke while fighting the blaze.
Restaurant owner Richai Karmakharm, said: “The whole kitchen is literally burnt out, and we will be shut for two to three months. Luckily the restaurant was closed and all the staff had left. At least nobody got hurt.”
According to Warwickshire Fire and Rescue, early signs suggest the fire was started by a fault with an electrical appliance in the kitchen, and it was contained in that room.
The damage is being assessed by the restaurant’s insurance company this week but Mr Karmakharm estimates refitting the kitchen plus the loss of business will cost tens of thousands of pounds.
Stratford resident Gemma Clifford noticed smoke billowing from the restaurant while driving home and stopped to call the fire brigade.
She said: “Within two minutes the fire brigade were there and around five minutes later another two engines turned up. The fire seemed to be put out relatively quickly, however we could not leave the car park until around 1.30am as the engines seemed to be packing away.”
A spokesperson for Warwickshire Fire and Rescue confirmed that the fire was indeed put out within half an hour.
However Swans Nest Lane was shut for around an hour and a half to accommodate three fire engines while firefighters checked the rest of the building and made the kitchen secure.
Several people were forced to stay in the car park until the early hours of the morning for their own safety and the safety of the fire crews. Warwickshire Fire and Rescue apologised for the inconvenience.
Although most of the firefighters left at 1.30am, some remained on the scene until 4am as a precaution.
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