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Four fire engines and 21 firefighters and officers were called to a fire at a restaurant on the High Street in Whetstone this morning.
The fire broke out in the kitchen and gutted the restaurant’s ducting – the extraction system - from the ground floor to the first floor of the three floored building. A small part of the roof was also damaged by the fire.
Five members of staff were inside in the restaurant when the fire occurred and evacuated. The building, which is also home to a gym, night club and a children’s soft play area, was also evacuated by around 40 other people before the Brigade arrived. Fire crews helped a further 25 people to leave the gym and play area. Fortunately no one was reported to be injured.
The cause of the fire is believed to be accidental, due to cooking igniting grease and fat which spread through the inside of the ducting. Crews had to extensively cut away ducting, which ran from the ground floor to the roof of the building, to find out where within the extraction system the fire was located.
A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “Restaurant and take-away owners should always take care to make sure their extraction systems are kept clean as a build up of fat and grease within the filters can lead to a fire.”
The Brigade was called at 1028 and the incident was over by 1226. Crews from Barnet, Finchley, Southgate and Hendon attended the incident.