WIMBLEDON, ENGLAND- Firefighters have warned food businesses to clean up fat and grease following a fire at a restaurant in Wimbledon.
London Fire Brigade said dirty extraction systems could lead to blazes after Aya Lebanese Cuisine in Merton Road was gutted by flames on Monday.
Twenty-one firefighters tackled the fire, which damaged a flat above the restaurant. A family of three escaped the flat after smelling smoke.
MONDAY: Fire breaks out at Lebanese restaurant in south Wimbledon
A brigade spokesman said: “A family of three were at home in the flat directly above the restaurant when they could smell smoke. Thankfully they all evacuated safely.
“Businesses should make sure their extraction system is kept clean as a build-up of fat and grease within the filters can lead to a fire.”
Restaurant staff were alerted to the fire by a passer-by saw who saw smoke at about 2pm.
Fire crews from New Malden, Purley, Wimbledon and Mitcham attended and had the flames under control by 3.55pm.
Witness Ken O’Connor, whose business is based in Balfour Road, said that fire engines, ambulances and police cars had all attended the restaurant.
He said: “The first we saw of it was in the flue from the restaurant at the back of the building. The flat above seems to have been practically gutted.”