PARTY-GOERS were evacuated after a fire broke out at a recently re-opened Fulham bar at the weekend.
Fire crews were called to Vintage Bar, former known as Chateau 6, in Fulham Road, 11.45pm on Saturday night with 50 revellers forced to leave the stricken bar before they arrived.
Police closed a section of Fulham Broadway and, while firefighters and four fire engines had the blaze under control by 12.15am, that was long enough to damage just under half of the building.
It only re-opened a few weeks ago after a refurbishment but remained shut this week as workers assessed the damage.
Fire investigators believe the blaze was started by a cigarette with onlookers describing smoke coming from the cocktail bar, which opens until 2.30am at the weekend.
Anushka Sharma, an eyewitness who took these pictures, said: “I was on my way home from Kona Kai at around 11:30pm and as I walked up towards the tube I noticed the fire brigade and dense smoke.
“It all seemed as though it was the latter stages of the incident as it was mainly smoke piling out of the lower ground level of the building.
“In fact the crowd was very calm and contained and everyone was watching not really knowing the details of how it occurred.”
A neighbouring businessman, who asked not to be named, said: “It smelt as though there was a barbecue or something and then we saw lots of smoke coming out into the street.
“People we have spoken to said they heard someone shout 'get out' lots of times and them the fire brigade turned up. It has only recently re-opened so it is a shame but, luckily, no-one was hurt.”
A spokesman for London Fire Brigade said: “It is suspected the accidental fire was started by a carelessly discarded cigarette and the building was 40 per cent damaged by the fire.”
No-one from Vintage Bar was available for comment this week.
Were you at the scene or do you visit Vintage Bar? Please post a comment below or email reporter Greg Burns .