Northern Ireland

Coleraine: Yoko Bistro and Noodle Bar fire not deliberate say police

Fire at restaurant Image copyright Mark Jamieson
Image caption Six fire appliances were at the scene
Yoko restaurant fire Image copyright Mark Jamieson
Image caption Firefighters tackled the blaze at the Yoko Bistro and Noodle Bar for hours to bring it under control

The police have said they do not believe a fire which destroyed a restaurant in Coleraine on Friday evening was started deliberately.

Couples out celebrating Valentine's night had to leave the Yoko Bistro and Noodle Bar when the fire broke out at around 18:30 GMT.

A number of other shops and restaurants were also evacuated at the Riverside Regional Centre.

Six fire appliances and the emergency services attended the scene.

No-one is believed to have been injured.

The fire is thought to have started in the restaurant's kitchen.

Paul Coyle, from the Fire and Rescue Service, said it took 40 firefighters three hours to bring the blaze under control.

"We had to attack it, both from the ground level using three firefighting jets, and also employ an aerial attack using one of our specialist appliances," he said.

"Unfortunately, there was quite a bit of damage sustained by the Yoko restaurant and that obviously comprised fire damage and water damage as well.

"There was also some smoke damage and fire damage in the adjoining property."

Syed Amin, owner of the adjoining Indus Valley restaurant, said: "We were quite busy, we had a lot of bookings tonight.

"One customer popped in and told me there was a fire next door.

"We thought it was just a small, minor fire, but when I went out it was clearly a big fire.

"Then I had to evacuate my customers, I had to tell them we had to leave.

"It happened so quickly and the wind was blowing the smoke into my restaurant."

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