Thousands witness Falmouth restaurant fire that has left owners ‘utterly distraught’

Firefighters from a number of fire stations have dealt with a fire at The Ranch on Falmouth waterfront which saw part of the area cordoned off and fears that it could spread to residential flats. Shortly after 1.40pm the fire service received a number of calls from the public who saw smoke billowing from a large wood-clad property at Event Square in Falmouth.

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service confirmed crews had been called to the fire earlier this afternoon, stating on its website: “Critical Control have taken a large volume of calls to a fire in a commercial premises in Event Square in Falmouth. Four crews from Falmouth, Tolvaddon and Truro are in attendance.”

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They went on to state that firefighters would remain at the scene to ensure that there were no ‘hotspots’ and any reignition within the structure.

It has been claimed that the fire started in the kitchen of the restaurant and may have moved up to a first floor apartment although this has not yet been confirmed by any official sources.



Fire services are attending a fire in Falmouth

At the scene the fire incident manager told Cornwall Live’s reporter Evie Townend: “We were called to a fire in Event Square at 13.43 this afternoon. Initially the fire was in The Ranch. The fire was initially confined to the air ducting that takes the [hot] air out of the kitchen. We extinguished that quite quickly. It was quite difficult conditions because the kitchen is quite small and the crews worked really hard and well.

“We then began a thorough inspection of the flats in the area and we discovered that the metal lining of the ducting had conducted heat into various bits of wood throughout three different stories in the flats which had created small fires.

“As we would extinguish one and we’d think we’d finished the job another would happen and then another one would happen. So, we shut down all the doors and opened one window to check and then we quickly realized there was a reasonable fire in the loft-space so we recommitted four breathing apparatus, we had to rip out all the walls and now we’ve extinguished the fire completely and now we’re going to be here for another hour, damping down and making sure it’s 100 pierce out.

“We’ve been working with the paramedics and police, so there’s been some good joined up working and we’ll have a full fire investigation team here tomorrow to discover why it happened.”

The fire incident manager said that all the restaurants in the property were shut and initially fire crews evacuated the Maritime Museum as well – and he added that when crews arrived “there was about 5,000 people here from Falmouth Pride to greet us which made it an interesting challenge as well”.



Firefighters at Discovery Quay, Falmouth today
Firefighters at Discovery Quay, Falmouth today

He said the crews worked very hard in hot conditions, in a small space and the fire “could’ve been a lot worse”. He added that it had never been a particularly big fire, but the difficulty came because it was “difficult to get at”.

Toby Lamb, co-owner of The Ranch, said: “Utterly distraught that we’ve had to close on a busy day like today, especially with pride. I would never wish a fire on anyone.

“I suspect that The Ranch will be closed for a week but hopefully other businesses at the Shed are open later today. I feel for everyone and hope it’s not disturbed celebrations. The main thing is that everyone is safe and it could’ve been worse .”

Chantelle Lewis, who lives in opposite building, called the fire services. She said: “With it being a wooden building it could’ve been much worse. They responded really quickly and events square was evacuated calmly without fuss.

“At first I saw black smoke and then there were billowing flames. It’s the exterior extractor fan so there’s probably lots of grease and fat that goes up quickly. “It takes you by surprise but I hope that no one is hurt.”

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