About 80 people have been forced to evacuate from Surry Hills one-hat restaurant Nomad after a fire in the kitchen spread to the kitchen ductwork.
Often, kitchen managers and chefs believe that if the filters and canopy look clean, the job is done. But the problem occurs when the kitchen ductwork behind the kitchen grease filter and canopy becomes dirty and neglected.
“We have five fire trucks on the scene … They’ve only just put the fire out [about 2.05pm], so I have no idea of the extent of damage,” a Fire and Rescue NSW spokesman said.
The fire brigade was called to the popular restaurant on Foster Street about 1.45pm, as lunch service was in full swing according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Co-owners Al Yazbek and Rebecca Littlemore said they hoped the restaurant would be open again by lunchtime on Friday.
“Our systems are all in check so that when incidents like this occur it is dealt with quickly and effectively,” they said via a press release.
“There is internal damage within our ductwork that contractors will be attending to this afternoon and into the night, with a view to reopening tomorrow lunchtime.”
They confirmed the restaurant itself had not sustained any damage and no staff nor patrons were hurt.
This was a lucky escape and could have ended in tragedy very easily.
Restaurants face particular fire risks that are not present in other environments. With the open flames, paper products, cleaning chemicals, cooking oils, electrical connections, and hot equipment hazards from cooking processes have all of the materials for a fire to blaze out of control. In addition to juggling the daily challenges of operating a profitable restaurant, fire safety management is very likely to be the last thing on the restaurateur’s mind. It’s important to Implement Fire Safety In your restaurant.
For assistance with keeping your commercial kitchen ductwork clean and reduce the risk of fire, then contact us today.