Firefighters tackle blaze at Whispers wine bar in Halstead

Firefighters quickly surrounded the flames at Whispers wine bar to prevent the flames spreading to o

Firefighters quickly surrounded the flames at Whispers wine bar to prevent the flames spreading to other buildings. Picture: KATIE BUCHANAN BELSEY - Credit: Archant

Dozens of firefighters have been called to a fire that has broken out in the roof of a wine bar in Halstead.

Halstead Wine Bar Fire. Picture: KATIE BUCHANAN BELSEY

Halstead Wine Bar Fire. Picture: KATIE BUCHANAN BELSEY - Credit: Archant

Essex County Fire and Rescue was alerted at 11.18am to the Whispers wine bar in High Street.

Two crews from Halstead, one from Braintree, one from Coggeshall, an aerial ladder platform from Colchester and two crews from Suffolk Fire and Rescue’s Sudbury base.

High Street has been cordoned off while firefighters tackle the flames.

A fire service spokesman said the fire appeared to have started in the kitchen and that due to the age and wooden structure of the building, the flames were able to spread through to the roof.

Halstead Wine Bar Fire. Picture: KATIE BUCHANAN BELSEY

Halstead Wine Bar Fire. Picture: KATIE BUCHANAN BELSEY - Credit: Archant


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Crews have been removing roof tiles to access hotspots, and tackling the flames from the flat roof at the back of the building and outside.

Thermal imaging cameras are also being used to monitor the adjoining buildings for hotspots, and make sure the flames do not spread.

Halstead Wine Bar Fire. Picture: KATIE BUCHANAN BELSEY

Halstead Wine Bar Fire. Picture: KATIE BUCHANAN BELSEY - Credit: Archant

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Incident commander Craig McLellan said: “The initial crews have worked brilliantly to get the fire under control quickly.

“Their work helped to stop the fire spreading to other businesses and properties.

Halstead Wine Bar Fire. Picture: ESSEX COUNTY FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE

Halstead Wine Bar Fire. Picture: ESSEX COUNTY FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE - Credit: Archant

“The incident has been made more complicated because of the age and make-up of the building and roof area but all crews surrounded very quickly, allowing us to tackle it from every angle.”

The fire service added that the quick work had stopped the further spread of flames to adjoining properties.

Halstead Wine Bar Fire. Picture: ESSEX COUNTY FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE

Halstead Wine Bar Fire. Picture: ESSEX COUNTY FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE - Credit: Archant

One neighbouring property has suffered smoke damage, while the wine bar has suffered water damage to the ground floor, severe fire damage on the first floor and the roof has been destroyed.

The spokesman added: “Due to the age of the building we expect it will be several hours until the fire is fully extinguished and cool. The high street will remain closed until the scene is safe.”

Halstead Wine Bar Fire. Picture: ESSEX COUNTY FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE

Halstead Wine Bar Fire. Picture: ESSEX COUNTY FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE - Credit: Archant

The flames were put out by 3pm, with two crews due to remain at the scene until it has been completely cool and safe.

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