Rainbow Chinese restaurant damaged by accidental kitchen fire in Londonderry
Building experts are assessing a Chinese restaurant in Londonderry for structural damage following a fire which is understood to have started accidentally in the kitchen area on Sunday.
The owner of the Rainbow Chinese Restaurant, who is also the chef, is recovering at home from burns he received during the blaze and will find out later this week if any permanent structural damage has been caused as a result of the blaze.
Carlisle Road in Derry - a main route into the city centre, was closed for several hours on Sunday while 30 firefighters from Derry and Strabane battled to stop the fire from spreading.
In addition to the dangers of smoke and flames, the heat from the fire caused tiles on the roof of the building to explode and fall in pieces to the ground.
Western Area Commander with the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, Mark Deeney, who was in charge of the operation, said: "The fire started in the kitchen area and spread to the roof area very quickly.
"Our crews worked to contain the fire and prevent it from spreading further along the building to adjoining premises as well, which we were able to do.
"There has been considerable damage to the roof area, particularly above the first floor where the kitchen is."
The Rainbow Chinese Restaurant will be closed for the foreseeable future and is the third business premises to be hit so severely by fire.
In nearby Bishop Street inside the city's walls, the Poundstretcher building remains a charred shell after a huge blaze last July.
An alternative location has yet to be found for the business which employed around 30 people.
And last March it took firefighters more than 24 hours to make safe a fire at the Mandarin Palace Chinese Restaurant on Queen's Quay.
While part of the structure had to be demolished, owner Stan Lee recently reopened the popular restaurant.