This post first appeared on Derby Telegraph. Read the original article.
A popular city centre restaurant has been left ruined following a major fire – just weeks after it was crowned the best bar in Derby.
The Palfrey restaurant on Blacksmith’s Yard - just off Sadler Gate – suffered "extensive damage" after the blaze hit right through the building’s two floors and roof space.
Nobody was injured during the fire, which started at around 4.20am on Sunday morning, but because of its severity and height, five crews from Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service were called to tackle it. Other buildings and businesses in the area were not affected.
(Image: Geoff Girvan-Merryweather)
The cause of the fire has not yet been established, though it is not thought to be suspicious.
A couple of shocked workers from nearby bar Revolucion de Cuba Derby spoke to the Derby Telegraph at the scene saying they believed it to be an electrical fault.
The whole of Sadler Gate was cordoned off, as well as St Mary’s Gate, in the early hours of the day following the fire but re-opened at around 8.30am.
Station manager Adam Bleakman, who was the incident commander at the scene, said: “On arrival firefighters were met by a well-developed fire which had started in the ground floor bar area.
“Crews worked hard to contain the fire, but unfortunately the fire had already spread upwards into the roof space.
(Image: Nigel Slater)
“A fire investigation team will carry out a full fire investigation later today, however at present the cause of the fire is not thought to be suspicious.”
The Derby Telegraph understands the owners of The Palfrey are too devastated to speak at this stage.
The blaze comes just weeks after The Palfrey was named Best Bar at the Derby Food and Drink Awards after a successful first year as a business.
News of the fire has stunned others, especially in Blacksmith’s Yard.
Brad Worley, owner of The Forge Bar and Gourmet Grill - next door to The Palfrey - said he was devastated for the owners.
(Image: Nigel Slater)
He said: “I saw on the CCTV that there were fire engines inside the courtyard and was worried the fire was in my business. I know them very well and I’m devastated for them.
“They’ve just had the first anniversary and won an award at The Food and Drinks Awards – it’s a massive shame to see what’s happened."
The Blacksmith’s Loft restaurant on Sadler Gate also offered condolences on its Facebook Page.
A message to its thousands of followers reads: “We’re sending our deepest condolences to the entire The Palfrey team this morning. Such devastating news and we’re here to help should you need it guys.”
Oliver’s bar on Friar Gate also showed its support for The Palfrey writing to them on Facebook: “So deeply saddened to hear the news this morning - we're thinking of you all and sending love.”
A number of people walked to the area this morning and expressed their shock over the damaged building.
Revolucion de Cuba Derby colleagues Shannon Stubbs and Jordan Stanley were distraught when they found out after seeing the building in ruins.
Shannon said: “I can’t believe it, it’s devastating.
“I’ve got a few friends who work there. It’s been doing really well and was a such a cosy place. It’s going to take a long time for them to get back up and running. I’ve been told it was an electrical fault.”
Firefighters were due to return to the scene at 2pm on Sunday afternoon to investigate further.