Two investigations after Magpie fish and chip cafe badly damaged in second blaze in 24 hours

Photo: Ceri Oakes
Photo: Ceri Oakes

SEPARATE investigations are underway into the causes of two fires within 24 hours at famous Whitby fish and chip cafe The Magpie.

The cafe on Pier Road looks set to be closed for a lengthy period after the second blaze today badly damaged the roof of the building.

A North Yorkshire Fire Service spokesman said: "Fire crews were called to a fire incident at 22:15hrs on Sunday 30th April 2017 at numbers 14-15 Pier Road, Whitby.

"The fire was located in the roof space of the premises which is occupied by the Magpie fish and chip restaurant business.

"The incident was dealt with using eight fire engines from the surrounding area which included a high reach aerial ladder platform from Scarborough fire station and a crew from Middlesbrough. All fire engines left the scene at 04:39hrs and a revisit was carried out by an operational crew at 08:27hrs.

"Following this incident North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service Control Room received calls at 15:28hrs on Monday 1st May 2017 to a fire at the same property; Magpie fish and chip shop 14-15 Pier Road, Whitby. In total six fire engines attended the incident which included a high reach aerial ladder platform and three officers.

Photo: Ceri Oakes

Photo: Ceri Oakes

"Crews deployed breathing apparatus and fire fighting equipment to extinguish the fire. No people were injured as a result of the fire.

"Fire investigation officers are in attendance and have started a separate investigation into the cause of the second fire; the investigation will continue today and tomorrow. At this time, the cause of both fires is still to be determined.

The roof of the popular cafe on Pier Road has been almost completely destroyed in a blaze this (Mon May 1) afternoon.

Ceri Oakes, a freelance photographer from Whitby, said: "I was covering the fire on Sunday night and then today I was walking past on Pier Road and everyone was stood watching.

Photo: Ceri Oakes

Photo: Ceri Oakes

"There were flames billowing out of the roof. It was a sunny Bank Holiday Monday and the streets were full of people.

"The whole town was at a standstill with people just watching because nobody could believe what they were seeing, that it was on fire again.

"The roof was destroyed. A large part of the roof is completely gone. Everyone is absolutely gutted for the people that work there because it's the start of a busy season for them and it's going to have a big impact."

The Magpie Cafe had posted a message on its Facebook page before the second blaze this afternoon. The message read: "Business as usual at a very busy Magpie takeaway.

"Again, thank you for all your messages of help and support - we really appreciate it and hope you'll understand if we don't reply to you all individually!

"Within the next day or two we hope to be able to give you an update on when the restaurant will reopen.

"Thanks again from all the team at The Magpie Cafe.

"We can confirm, most importantly, everyone is okay and no one was hurt. Thank you to North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service and the emergency services for their assistance.

"We're down there now surveying the damage and will put out a statement when we know more. In the meantime, thank you all for your kind messages."

Messages of support for the restaurant, which is among Britain's top fish and chip eateries, flooded in on social media. following Sunday nights blaze.

Jayne Taylor said: "Shocked to see photo. Relieved no one injured. Hope you are soon up and running. We eat with you often when visiting Whitby, the food and service is always excellent. Best Wishes to all!"

While another diner, Sue Henshaw, said: "Our favourite place to eat when in Whitby once a year. I hope you can soon repair the damage. So glad that everyone is ok. We will be looking forward to our fish pie and prawn salad when you are up and running again."