Fire at Alderley Edge Panacea celebrity restaurant 'suspicious'

Fire Crews were called to the incident in London Road, Alderley Edge at 22:30 GMT

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A "major blaze" at a Cheshire restaurant and bar popular with footballers and celebrities is being treated as suspicious by police.

The fire service was called to the Panacea restaurant in London Road, Alderley Edge at 22:30 GMT on Tuesday.

Ten fire crews tackled the blaze, which broke through the roof of the property.

Cheshire Police said no one was injured. Officers want to speak to two people who were seen to arrive in a car before the fire broke out.

Police said the pair were seen walking towards the building and then left in the car.

Det Insp Robert Hassall said: "We are particularly keen to speak to anyone who was in the area at the time and saw a dark coloured BMW or Audi shortly before 22:30 GMT."

'Extensive damage'

The restaurant is due to re-open as a branch of Piccolino when a refurbishment is completed.

Cheshire Fire Service said it was still damping down at the scene, with the damage to the building described as "extensive".

A spokesman for Panacea said: "The venue was closed at the time and thankfully no one was injured.

"We are now working closely with the authorities to establish the cause of the fire."

A fire took place at Panacea Alderley Edge in 2008 - days after it first opened.

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