Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

INFERNO; Restaurant Destroyed as Flames Rip through Building

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

INFERNO; Restaurant Destroyed as Flames Rip through Building

Article excerpt


FLAMES lit up the night skyline and a plume of black smoke rose above a restaurant destroyed in a major blaze early today.

At the height of the dramatic fire in the Acklam Tandoori in Middlesbrough firefighters in eight appliances plus a hydraulic platform battled the flames.

Benham Azadi, a 24-year-old taxi driver from Acklam who said he was in the process of buying the restaurant, said: "I drove past this morning and am absolutely gutted.

"I've spent a few weeks getting the money together but I think I might have to look for somewhere else."

Other businesses are counting the cost of the blaze.

Newbould's butcher shop under the restaurant was described by its relief manager Simon Kinghorn as "gutted" with the meat brought in for a busy weekend destroyed.

Mr Kinghorn was on his way along the A19 to open the shop when he heard a news flash about the fire.

He said: "I was worried about traffic chaos and didn't think about the shop," he said. "But when I parked at the Coronation pub, I saw we'd been hit by the fire and it was quite a shock.

"The shop was cordoned off but from what I saw it looked gutted."

Shopkeepers and workers earlier today began to form a crowd outside the shops, many of which remained closed as firefighters continued to work at the scene.

Barber Malcolm Stephenson of Malcolm's, which is separated from the restaurant only by a brick wall, was waiting by the cordon, anxious to know the damage. He said: "I'm a bit shocked but you have to make do and do the best you can."

Jay Charlton did have a chance to check over his workplace, Finlay's Newsagent, which is diagonally below the curry house. "We've just got a bit of damage to the ceiling where the water's come in," he said.

Carpet fitter Steven Reed saw the drama unfold from his home on Acklam Road, opposite the restaurant.

He said: "First there was just smoke billowing out and then the flames came. All of a sudden the flames just spread. The fire brigade were having a job getting through the door so they went through the window upstairs."

The first crews on the scene in two engines from Middlesbrough station at about 1. …

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