Restaurants fire 'not deliberate'

Restaurants fire 'not deliberate'

A fire which gutted one restaurant and damaged another in Coleraine, Co Londonderry was not started deliberately, police believe.

The blaze broke out in the kitchen of the Yoko Noodle Bar in the Riverside Park North area of the town at around 6.30pm on Friday.The fire was able to take hold and spread to the roof space of the property before moving into the neighbouring Indus Valley Indian restaurant, the fire service said.Fire crews, including five fire appliances and 36 firefighters, battled for almost three hours to put out the blaze.The Fire Service said the Yoko restaurant was "significantly damaged" in the incident, while the neighbouring business suffered smoke and water damage.Group commander, Paul Coyle from the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service said they hoped their investigations would determine the cause of the fire - which is understood to be the third incident at the premises.Crews remain at the scene while it is made safe.Natasha Magill was working in Yoko, which was full, when the fire started."It just got bigger and bigger, the smoke alarm had gone off and customers were quite concerned," she told UTV."Everybody stopped eating and wanted to get out, we got out eventually - as long as everybody was safe."Some staff and diners from the restaurants and other premises which were evacuated on Valentine's night returned on Saturday to try and retrieve their belongings.This included Syed Amin, who owns Indian restaurant Indus Valley. He said they were also fully booked."We were hoping for this night for a long time, Valentine's is a good night for the business," he told UTV."This is one of the biggest days for us and it's gone - it's not only gone but I don't know when we can open the restaurant because the premises is quite badly smoke damaged."Fire crews finish damping down gutted Coleraine restaurant - as people dining there last nite return for belongings— Judith Hill (@Judith_utv) February 15, 2014


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