Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 10°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

Ipswich: Owner of The Townhouse Restaurant damaged in blaze reveals heartbreak - but insists ‘We will come back’

12:36 09 January 2014

Dramatic pictures of fire at popular Ipswich Restaurant. The Town House.

Dramatic pictures of fire at popular Ipswich Restaurant. The Town House.

An Ipswich restaurant owner has spoken of his heartbreak after a blaze ripped through his popular town centre venue – but he vowed to bounce back.

Eight fire engines were called to The Townhouse Restaurant in Orwell Place following reports of a major kitchen blaze yesterday morning.

See the gallery here.

Around 20 firefighters battled the inferno which caused a “considerable amount of damage” to the restaurant. No injuries were reported.

Morgan Decker, owner of the restaurant, said two chefs raised the alarm when the kitchen filled with smoke minutes after the pair had “started work as normal”.

The 36-year-old opened the restaurant – his first business venture – in October 2010 after a career spent working in catering.

He said news of the fire “shocked” him and was a “real blow” after battling through the recession and proving a hit with customers.

“I’ve put everything into the restaurant,” Mr Decker said. “There was a lot of hard work and patience with family and friends.

“I’ve worked in catering my whole life across Suffolk and this was my first business of my own. We opened in the middle of the recession and have battled through to get here.

“Things were going well so this is a real blow. I would like to apologise to everyone who had made reservations.”

He said he expects the restaurant to be closed for a “minimum of two weeks”.

An investigation has been launched to establish the cause of the fire. It is believed to have erupted in the kitchen’s extractor fan at around 9.45am.

Group Commander Dave Pedersen, of the Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, said the venue had suffered “substantial damage”.

He said there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the incident.

The back of the building was reportedly severely damaged while aerial pictures revealed a large hole had been torn through the roof.

Fire crews managed to stop the flames from spreading to nearby buildings. It was brought under control by 11.10am.

Mr Decker, of Ipswich, praised the “brilliant work” of the firefighters before pledging to remain upbeat and rebuild his restaurant back to its former glory.

“We will come back from this,” the former Kesgrave High School pupil said.

“I would like to praise the chefs, who did everything correctly, and the firefighters for their brilliant work.

“I was in a meeting off-site when the chefs called me. It was a little bit shocking to say the least.

“We don’t know what precisely caused the fire. It seems like a random accident but it might have started in the fan extractor.”

Mr Pedersen said the fire took hold within the kitchen before spreading through the rest of the building.

“The fire caused a considerable amount of damage but we will carry out a full investigation,” he said.

Eye-witness Glenn Makin, 32, said firefighters “acted quickly” to douse the fire.

“They deserve some praise,” he said. “Let’s hope the restaurant gets back up and running as soon as possible.”

Another witness, who did not wished to be named, said: “It’s such a shame. It is a great restaurant. Good luck to them to get it back open as soon as possible.”

2 comments

  • Morgan Decker is 36 says this article, so what relevance of what high school he used to go to over 20 years ago?

    Report this comment

    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

  • After being damaged in the blaze, I'm sure the owner would be a little peeved - or is there a comma missing from the headline?

    Report this comment

    Mister Cynical

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Pigs Gone Wild sculptures being delivered to the streets of Ipswich

This week Suffolk has seen pigs pop up around town, James May officially unveil a new motorcycle museum and ITFC begin their pre-season training. To catch up on all the latest, watch this week’s news in video.

Centennial commemoration of the start of the battle of the Somme at Long Melford War Memorial at Holy Trinity Church.

The great-nephew of a Long Melford soldier who fought at the Battle of the Somme described the “humbling” experience of blowing on the same whistle his ancestor used to send men over the top.

More funding is needed to help people suffering with mental ill health, Labour says

Labour has joined calls demanding more money be made available for mental health services in Suffolk, warning that reported cuts of £200,000 will have “severe consequences” for sufferers in the county.

Rudimental were at Thetford last night

Two years ago Rudimental were performing on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury when it was powered down because an electrically charged storm was exploding overhead.

Ready for the start: The cars lined up in front of a large crowd ahead of the National Hot Rod World Championship race at the 44th Annual SpedeWeekend at Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich, Suffolk, UK on 28 June 2015. Picture: Steve Waller

The draw of high action, high speed motorsport will be bringing fans of oval motorsport to Foxhall Stadium this weekend for the 45th annual SpedeWeekend.

Dave Lock decompressing on the line

Scuba divers searching the first British warship to sink in the First World War have made a “remarkable” discovery.

Police and ambulance crews attended the crash.

A man in his 60s was taken to hospital after he was involved in a collision between a car and a bus in Essex.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24