Herald Sun
August 30th, 2014

The damage in Donovans kitchen, where it is believed a spark from the char grill may have ignited residue fat in the exhaust system. Picture: Norm OorloffIT TOOK just 15 minutes for firefighters to bring the Donovans fire under control last night but in that time an estimated $400,000 in damage was done.

New pictures show the restaurant’s gutted kitchen, soaked floors, and food left half-eaten on tables after diners were hastily evacuated when fire broke out in the iconic St Kilda restaurant.

Fire investigators now believe an ember or spark from the restaurant’s chargrill may have ignited fat that had built up in the kitchen’s rangehood.

The fire, believed to have started in a kitchen flue, destroyed most of the roof.