Valentine's Day diners flee Coleraine restaurant inferno
Valentine's Day couples were forced to flee after a blaze broke out at a restaurant while they were enjoying a romantic meal.
Firefighters struggled to contain the fire at the Chinese eaterie in Coleraine which caused severe damage to the building.
The blaze started shortly after 6.30pm at the Yoko Bistro and Noodle Bar at the Riverside Regional Centre. People were seated for dinner when the alarm rang, prompting an evacuation.
Diners were also evacuated from an adjoining Indian restaurant. No one was injured in the blaze but it is understood that both of the restaurants were extensively damaged.
Plumes of black smoke could be scene for miles as the fire quickly spread out of control.
Six fire appliances were dispatched to the scene and crews pumped water onto the blaze to quench the flames.
They battled the inferno for nearly three hours and remained at the scene once the fire was put out to ensure it did not reignite.
Fire service group commander Paul Coyle said the fire began in the kitchen.
"To begin with it was challenging to get to the main seat of the fire, but we were soon able to bring it under control," he said.
"While we know the fire broke out in the kitchen it is too early to say what caused it, but hopefully we will be able to determine that later."