Burnt muffins cause evacuation

FIREFIGHTERS discovered a tray of burnt muffins were behind an early morning evacuation of a block of flats above a caf�.

Jonathan Schofield

FIREFIGHTERS discovered a tray of burnt muffins were behind an early morning evacuation of a block of flats above a caf�.

Residents living above Caf� Nero in Abbeygate Street, Bury St Edmunds, were woken with a start on Sunday morning as firemen cleared the building after a fire broke out in the basement oven.

The drama started when a staff member at the coffee franchise switched on the ovens just after 7am - unaware that a batch of cooked muffins were inside it until they went up in flames.

Linda Harrison, 53, who lives above the caf�, said her buzzer went at about 7.45am.

She said: “It was a bit of a rude awakening. I heard a fireman say he was sorry to disturb me but there was a fire and I had to get out of the building immediately. You don't usually get that sort of excitement around here, so I quickly put on some clothes and got out.”

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By that time three fire crews from Bury had pulled up outside the caf� and four firefighters using breathing apparatus and one hose reels entered the building to control the blaze.

The fire was quickly brought under control and the offending muffins removed from the caf�.

Mrs Harrison, a fire warden with her employer EDF Energy, said they were stuck outside for about 45 minutes while firefighters checked the entire building was safe.

“The young girl who switched on the oven looked really, really shaken while we waited outside but thankfully the speed of the fire crews meant it didn't turn into a major drama,” she added.

The Caf� Nero manager on duty, who did not want to be named, said no one was hurt and there was just a bit of smoke damage.

“It was fine and we opened for business as usual. It was just a bit more exciting to see three fire engines outside and some very attractive firemen inside the cafe at that time in the morning,” she added.