Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 15°C

Search

Ipswich: Owner of The Townhouse Restaurant damaged in blaze reveals heartbreak - but insists ‘We will come back’

PUBLISHED: 12:36 09 January 2014 | UPDATED: 12:36 09 January 2014

Dramatic pictures of fire at popular Ipswich Restaurant. The Town House.

Dramatic pictures of fire at popular Ipswich Restaurant. The Town House.

An Ipswich restaurant owner has spoken of his heartbreak after a blaze ripped through his popular town centre venue – but he vowed to bounce back.

Eight fire engines were called to The Townhouse Restaurant in Orwell Place following reports of a major kitchen blaze yesterday morning.

See the gallery here.

Around 20 firefighters battled the inferno which caused a “considerable amount of damage” to the restaurant. No injuries were reported.

Morgan Decker, owner of the restaurant, said two chefs raised the alarm when the kitchen filled with smoke minutes after the pair had “started work as normal”.

The 36-year-old opened the restaurant – his first business venture – in October 2010 after a career spent working in catering.

He said news of the fire “shocked” him and was a “real blow” after battling through the recession and proving a hit with customers.

“I’ve put everything into the restaurant,” Mr Decker said. “There was a lot of hard work and patience with family and friends.

“I’ve worked in catering my whole life across Suffolk and this was my first business of my own. We opened in the middle of the recession and have battled through to get here.

“Things were going well so this is a real blow. I would like to apologise to everyone who had made reservations.”

He said he expects the restaurant to be closed for a “minimum of two weeks”.

An investigation has been launched to establish the cause of the fire. It is believed to have erupted in the kitchen’s extractor fan at around 9.45am.

Group Commander Dave Pedersen, of the Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, said the venue had suffered “substantial damage”.

He said there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the incident.

The back of the building was reportedly severely damaged while aerial pictures revealed a large hole had been torn through the roof.

Fire crews managed to stop the flames from spreading to nearby buildings. It was brought under control by 11.10am.

Mr Decker, of Ipswich, praised the “brilliant work” of the firefighters before pledging to remain upbeat and rebuild his restaurant back to its former glory.

“We will come back from this,” the former Kesgrave High School pupil said.

“I would like to praise the chefs, who did everything correctly, and the firefighters for their brilliant work.

“I was in a meeting off-site when the chefs called me. It was a little bit shocking to say the least.

“We don’t know what precisely caused the fire. It seems like a random accident but it might have started in the fan extractor.”

Mr Pedersen said the fire took hold within the kitchen before spreading through the rest of the building.

“The fire caused a considerable amount of damage but we will carry out a full investigation,” he said.

Eye-witness Glenn Makin, 32, said firefighters “acted quickly” to douse the fire.

“They deserve some praise,” he said. “Let’s hope the restaurant gets back up and running as soon as possible.”

Another witness, who did not wished to be named, said: “It’s such a shame. It is a great restaurant. Good luck to them to get it back open as soon as possible.”

Comments have been disabled on this article.

An investigation is underway into suspected arson after a thatched outdoor classroom in Christchurch Park was burned to the ground.

Two Suffolk nurseries have defended their decision to put the price of hot meals up to £12 a day in the wake of national funding changes being rolled out later this year.

Police are appealing for help in tracing a missing 25 year-old male from Ipswich, who has not been seen for a week.

The popular ITFC family day out will return on Thursday, July 27, at Portman Road.

Police have halted filling in the landfill cell where they believe the body of missing RAF man Corrie McKeague is located.

Firefighters have returned to scene of a straw fire, which has re-ignited just outside a village near Stowmarket.

Police are investigating a spate of break-ins at allotments in Ipswich.

A man who capsized off the coast of Felixstowe owes his life to his life jacket, quick thinking witnesses and the efforts of coastguard and the RNLI.

A music festival has been set up to celebrate the life of a “larger than life character” who died suddenly earlier this year.

A loving Ipswich couple who have been together for more than 60 years celebrated their 90th birthdays today – after the pair were remarkably born on the same day.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24