Three rescued from flats after fire breaks out at Exeter tapas restaurant

  • Watch: Firefighters bring fire at Exeter restaurant under control.

Three people have been rescued from their flats after a blaze broke out in a restaurant on a busy street in Exeter.

The fire is believed to have begun in the food fryer of a tapas restaurant on Fore Street at around 7:19pm on Tuesday 3 August.

Dozens of firefighters from across East Devon attended the blaze, with eight fire engines and two aerial ladder appliances helping to douse the flames.

The three residents became trapped after smoke and flames quickly spread upwards, meaning they could not use their stairway.

First responders were called to the scene on Fore Street at around 7:19pm this evening. Credit: @Camerafirm

Firefighters used a ladder to rescue two people from the first-floor window - the third had to be escorted by crews using breathing apparatus. 

She was given a new piece of equipment called an escape hood, which ensured she didn't inhale any toxic fumes.  

No one is believed to be injured.

A cordon has been put in place in both directions on Fore Street, between New Bridge Street and Mary Arches Street.

People have also been asked to avoid the area.

The Force Incident Manager, who oversees all live incidents across the region said there was "a concern the fire might spread to other properties" and firefighters were dealing with the situation.

But by around 11:20pm, all but two of the fire engines had left the scene.

Firefighters used three thermal imaging cameras to seek out hot spots and ripped down parts of walls and lifted up the floorboards to ensure the fire was out. 

In total, six breathing apparatus, three hose reel jets and two main jets were used to put out the flames.

A spokesperson for Devon Fire and Rescue Service said that local crews would continue to visit the site until midday and that the cause of the fire is believed to be accidental.

The restaurant is on the corner of Fore street and one of the cities most historic lanes,  known as the Mint. It is home to the cities oldest building, St Nicholas Priory, which is almost opposite the rear of the restaurant.