Iconic Pub Evacuated after Commercial Kitchen Fire

Commercial Kitchen Fire at Iconic Mt Erica Hotel in Prahran

After a fire broke out in the commercial kitchen, staff and diners were forced to flee from an iconic hotel built in the 1850s.

Staff and diners have been forced to flee from a 168-year-old Prahran hotel a commercial kitchen fire broke out during lunch service. Emergency services rushed to the Mount Erica Hotel on High St, Prahran after the fire broke out at 1.05pm and spread to the hotel’s roof space.

Ten Fire Rescue Victoria crews including 24 firefighters and aerial units rushed to battle the blaze and evacuated 30 diners and staff to the hotel’s staging area. The fire was declared under control within 40 minutes at 1.45pm according to the Herald Sun.

No one was injured in the fire and police remained at the scene. The hotel opened in 1853 and was one of the first licensed venues in the area according to the Stonnington History Centre.

Manager Scott Glover told Leader the fire caused minor damage to the roof and kitchen on the hotel’s ground level, with its second level unaffected. Mr Glover said he was thankful staff and diners were able to escape unharmed.

“Something might have happened in the kitchen, but we’re trying to get to the bottom of that,” he said.

“We had a restaurant full of patrons and staff, they’re all fine … the firefighters did their job very well and responded quickly.”

Mr Glover said he expected the pub to be closed for “about a week, potentially longer” following the fire.

“We’ll see how the experts assess the damage,” he said.

“It’s disappointing, we were operating well until this little incident, but we’ll be back again.

“No one was injured and that’s our primary concern.”

The fire is at least the second to break out at the hotel in its long history after it was originally destroyed and later rebuilt in 1877.


The most common cause of major fires in commercial kitchen settings are grease fires.

Cooking flames and flammable kitchen materials such as grease build up over time, which increases the risk for potential fires to break out. Grease fires spread when flames get into the kitchen’s duct-work and exhaust system, the vents and fans above ovens and stoves that extract airborne grease vapours and smoke and are typically home to grease build-up.

Although it is often costly and time-consuming, regular upkeep by way of inspections and duct cleaning is key to preventing most commercial kitchen fires. A better alternative would be to invest in kitchen grease filters that intercept as much of this airborne grease at the filter before it has the chance to penetrate and build up in the kitchen exhaust system (hood, ductwork, fans and the roof).

Most metal kitchen grease filters only capture between 20-40% of this airborne grease, allowing the majority of it to pass through and into the system.

The Shepherd Filters solution has been developed in order to trap up to an impressive 98%, ensuring that flammable grease build-up is minimised for the long term.

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