Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 2°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.”

2 comments

  • Morgan Decker is 36 says this article, so what relevance of what high school he used to go to over 20 years ago?

    Report this comment

    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

  • After being damaged in the blaze, I'm sure the owner would be a little peeved - or is there a comma missing from the headline?

    Report this comment

    Mister Cynical

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Childhood obesity rates appear to be rising in Suffolk, with a new report estimating that one in seven children leaving primary school are now classed as obese.

Ipswich is preparing to pop the cork on a bumper bank holiday weekend for beer, spirits and music lovers as two festival firsts are due to get underway.

An Ipswich drug dealer who ran off when police stopped a car he was driving and was found by a police dog has been locked up for more than three years.

Patients who have been treated for cancer or given the all clear at Ipswich Hospital are being invited to share their views about their experiences as part of a survey designed to help improve care.

Suffolk’s tourism industry is facing a major headache ahead of the arrival of the Tour of Britain cycling race – but it’s the kind of problem businesses will relish.

First Eastern Counties is to take over Ipswich’s park and ride service on July 3 – running a service with a smaller subsidy but fewer buses than at present.

A 20-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder today in connection with an attack in Ipswich.

Stunning shot of Easton Bavents wins inaugural Suffolk Preservation Society competition, with Southwold and Ipswich scenes also shortlisted.

A family of badgers have been blamed for causing a sink hole on the only road into a lonely Suffolk hamlet where superstar actor Benedict Cumberbatch is filming a new BBC TV drama.

Police are appealing for witnesses and information after a woman reported being sexually assaulted in Ipswich.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24