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Fire fails to stop trade at Box
A five-star family-owned Box hotel and restaurant showed true British spirit by overcoming a huge kitchen fire to open for business over the Diamond Jubilee weekend.
Fire crews were called to The Northey, in Bath Road, at 5.20pm last Thursday, when a member of the public noticed the kitchen roof was on fire. The blaze spread and the roof of the kitchen collapsed through the extractor fan.
With their kitchen destroyed, owners, brothers Mark and Matthew Warburton, set up a temporary facility with dry store and refrigeration unit which allowed the restaurant to serve food again on Saturday evening.
Chef Verity Boughey, 23, said: “We tried our best to get back to normal, but we could only serve a limited menu and unfortunately we did have to turn people away.”
On Tuesday, scaffolding went up as repair work, which will take around eight weeks to complete, began.
Mark, who has run The Northey with his brother since 2004, said: “We are strict with our regular fire checks and, despite this being a huge blow to us, the main thing is nobody was hurt or killed. Once everybody was out, I did one last sweep of the building to make sure nobody was inside.”
Four fire crews, two police cars and an ambulance, passing through Box at the time, attended the incident.
Wiltshire Fire and Rescue believe the fire was accidental, but a cause has yet to be established.
There was no damage to any other part of the building, which meant the hotel remained open.
Matthew was out at the time of the fire and arrived back to find fire crews at the scene.
He said: “We are just trying to get back to normal, although it will take some time. The main thing is that nobody was hurt.”
Mark Unwin, Corsham watch manager for Wiltshire Fire and Rescue, lead one of the crews.
He said: “It was brought under control quite quickly, but if it was in the main part of the pub it could have been a much different situation and that’s putting it mildly.”