An electrical fault was the suspected cause of a fire at a Harborough restaurant on Sunday night.
Firefighters were called out at about 6.15pm on Sunday when staff at the nearby Angel Hotel in High Street called 999 after seeing smoke from Ascough’s bistro two doors down, said a Fire Control Room operator yesterday.
Police also attended and closed off parts of High Street to allow the fire service to work.
It is believed the restaurant was closed at the time - the Ascough’s website says it is open from Tuesdays to Saturdays.
A statement released on the eatery’s website today states: “A fire broke out at the rear of the restaurant causing considerable damage to refrigeration, stock and smoke damage to the restaurant itself.
“As a result we will remain closed until further notice. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause to your dining plans.
“Customers with a reservation for this week will be contacted shortly.
“Thank you for your support and understanding in this difficult situation.”
Two fire crews from Harborough attended initially, with a third pump from Kibworth backing them up at about 6.46pm.
The fire was towards the rear of the Grade II-listed property in a kitchen, according to the Leicestershire Fire and Rescue service’s media voicebank, although it later described it as an “attached external cupboard area” which had moderate smoke and heat damage.
Firefighters used one covering jet, two hose reels, one main jet and two breathing apparatus while putting out the flames. They later used two further breathing apparatus and one hose reel to damp down.
A key-holder of the property attended at about 7.15pm and was able to open a door to allow “natural ventilation” and prevent the fire spreading to a property next door, said the fire service media voicebank message.
Fire crews packed up and left the scene at about 8pm.
A Fire Control Room operator told the Mail this morning that the suspected cause of the fire was an electrical fault.
Reports of the fire emerged on social media website Twitter at about 7pm on Sunday with some initially thinking the fire was at Browns Hairdressers or The Angel Hotel, before the real seat of the fire was confirmed.
The bistro was opened in August 2005 by owners Chris and Abby Ascough.
Its website described the bistro as offering “a stylish and relaxed dining experience. The small, tastefully decorated Grade II-listed building separates the dining area across two floors, providing an intimate and welcoming atmosphere.
“Ascough’s prides itself on serving delicious contemporary dishes using quality sourced ingredients from local suppliers such as Bates Butchers, The Langton Brewery and Duncan Murray Wines.”
Story by Alex Blackwell
Follow Alex on Twitter, @BlackwellHarb.