Fire Service act quickly to put out town blaze

Firefighters tackling the blaze in Portadown.
Firefighters tackling the blaze in Portadown.

Swift action by the owners and the Fire and Rescue Service contained a potentially dangerous blaze in a Market Street café on Monday afternoon.

The fire took hold when a chip pan ignited at Don Silva’s Café at the entrance to Market Lane, with the staff initially keeping it under control and the fire service completing the job when they arrived minutes after being called.

The café was open for business as usual on Tuesday morning.

Said Fire Service Watch Commander Mark Matthews, “It was an object lesson for any business the way the staff tackled the initial fire. They had the right equipment on hand, were trained in tackling the fire and immediately called us to the scene.

“When we got there, the initial fire was out, but it had spread to the extractor system. We simply had to climb a set of steps – the fire escape – and finished the job.”

Café owner Don Silva said, “There was no panic. The firefighters were here very quickly and completed the job we started. It was perfect co-operation and we thank them for their swift action and their professionalism.

“They remarked ... that a chip pan catching fire is a pure accident, which we were well prepared for.”

Mr Matthews said, “Had the café not been so well equipped and the staff so well trained, the fire could have got out of control. Mr Silva’s action probably meant that his business was saved.”