Claridge's evacuated after Ramsay kitchen fire

17 December 2004 by
Claridge's evacuated after Ramsay kitchen fire

Claridge's was evacuated for nearly three hours yesterday (Thursday) after a fire broke out in the kitchen of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay's restaurant at the flagship London hotel.

The fire was discovered at 10.40am, and fire engines were on the scene within 20 minutes.

Some 1,300 staff and guests were evacuated, including celebrities such as Brad Pitt, Jim Carrey, Mick Jagger and Matt Damon, although people were allowed back into the building by 1pm.

The restaurant was closed for the day but is expected to be back open today, said Ramsay.

General manager Michael Hoffman added: "We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience this caused to our guests. However on the rare occasion that an incident like this occurs, the safety of guests and staff is paramount."

The hotel stressed the fire had been confined to the kitchens of Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's and said "the resultant damage is not thought to be serious".

A spokeswoman for the hotel insisted it was too early to know what the cost of the fire would be.

London Fire Brigade confirmed its crews had dealt with the fire, with some 30 firefighters tackling the blaze, which had started in ducting leading from the basement to the roof.

And a spokesman indicated the damage could be extensive. "The fire caused heavy smoke logging on the ground floor and basement area. The cause of the fire is being investigated," he said.

by Nic Paton

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