Park Street was closed to traffic today after a fire broke out in the Salute bar and restaurant.
Eight firefighters attended the blaze, which consumed the ground-floor bar and the Escape Nightclub upstairs, filling the building with smoke. Fortunately, there were no injuries; however there were reports that a Bristol resident had tried to gain access to the property to save valuables.
Avon Fire and Rescue were called at 11:17am and the main road (leading from the Bristol Hippodrome up to Clifton) was shortly shut off to traffic and pedestrians, though the latter were soon let through once the fire had been contained. Diversions were put in place, but the road was opened again at roughly 2pm; it caused delays to public transport, particularly the bus routes that operate around the City Centre. The fire could easily have been much worst, particularly on a busy, hot day around lunchtime. Many restaurants line Park Street, including the ever-popular Nandos opposite the fire.
“[The fire crew] tackled the fire by pulling the ceiling down – the fire had got into the ceiling between two floors. So [it was] quite a serious fire for us,” Chris Geake from Avon Fire and Rescue told ITV. “Victorian properties pose their problems; with all-wooden construction and over two floors, we needed four pumping appliances.”
Bizarrely, the BBC didn’t appear to be on location, despite having their South West headquarters in Clifton.
It’s believed that an electrical fault started the fire, though it still has to be investigated.
UPDATE: While much of the building was affected by smoke damage, the Escape Nightclub hopes to reopen within a fortnight.