CUSTOMERS and staff at a restaurant in Edinburgh’s city centre were evacuated yesterday (fri) after a fire broke out in the kitchen.
Fire crews rushed to TGI Fridays on the capital’s Castle Street at around 12.45.
Around 50 firefighters worked to bring the fire under control.
Witnesses have said that they saw flames coming out of the back of the restaurant in Rose Street Lane.
Part of the roof of the building collapsed as a result of the fire.
Local residents were also evacuated from flats around the buildings and other business were asked to close.
A spokesman for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service confirmed there were no casualties in the incident.
A worker who had been contracted from Manchester to fix the restaurants dishwasher was at the bar area when the fire took hold.
He said: “We were working in TGI fridays – fixing the dishwasher at the bar – when people came out from the kitchen saying that there was a fire and then we all ran out.
“Everyone went out very slowly and calmly. There was no pushing or anything.
“I’ve heard it started in the ducting, the canopy from the cooker. It could have been a blockage from cooking fat or anything.
“Apparently it took out most of the roof at the back.
“We never saw any flames or anything at this side, we just saw loads of black smoke everywhere.
“They’re going to have a lot of half finished meals in there.”
Another witness who wished to remain anonymous said: “We were just having lunch on Rose Street when we saw the flames. I thought the flames looked pretty high and they were massive.”
Darrell Wade, chief operating officer at TGI Friday’s, said: “We can confirm that a fire broke out within the property that we occupy on Castle Street in Edinburgh.
“We immediately evacuated our restaurant and all guests and team members safely left the building.
“We are now working closely with the Edinburgh fire service to help understand the cause of the fire.
“At this stage the exact cause and location of the breakout is inconclusive.”
A spokeswoman for the Scottish Fire and Rescue service said: “An investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident will be conducted by SFRS.”