Eight fire engines and over 40 firefighters were called to fight a blaze at the Little Bay restaurant in Battersea on New Year’s Day, just as the restaurant finished its first service of the year.
The fire, which is thought to have started in the restaurant’s kitchen at 9pm, damaged most of the four-storey building on York Road, and caused part of the structure to collapse.
Four diners along with eight staff members evacuated the premises immediately, while two people from the flats above had to be rescued by the London Fire Brigade via a ladder. A third managed to escape via a window before the fire brigade arrived.
Peter Ilic, owner of the Little Bay restaurant group, which last February abandoned bills and asked diners to pay what they liked for their food, told BigHospitality the fire was a ‘terrible’ incident, but praised the quick actions of his staff members to evacuate the building.
“Their personal safety was the most important thing, and I’m very, very proud of them,” he said. “The insurance people are currently looking at the situation, and I expect to go back to the restaurant tomorrow to see what the damage is. We still don’t know exactly what caused the fire, but it most probably was something electrical. The kitchen was already closed when the fire started.”
Ilic added that he was unsure when the restaurant would reopen, but hoped it would be ‘as soon as possible so I don’t lose any customers’.
Little Bay restaurant group also has sites in Kilburn, Farringdon and Croydon. The Battersea fire was under control by 7.20am on 2 January, 10 hours after fire fighters arrived on the scene.