An Indian restaurant in Ayrshire that saw all of its kitchen equipment destroyed in a fire last month is hoping to re-open this week in time for the festive rush.
Staff at the popular Taj Tandoori in Prestwick have been working round the clock to get the business back on its feet after the incident.
A six-figure sum has been spent on replenishing equipment wiped out in the blaze, which started in the kitchen’s extractor fan.
Initially, it was thought the fire broke out in a neighbouring flat, but it was discovered the extractor was the problem. The entire kitchen was gutted in the inferno.
Around 35 firefighters battled to tackle the blaze after being called to the scene as the restaurant was preparing its lunch service.
The fire took hold within the kitchen and spread to the internal structure of the two-storey building.
Group Commander Richie Duncan, the officer in charge, said: “On arrival our crews were met with thick black smoke and an intense fire that was not only visible within the property, but also clearly within the building’s structure.
“This was an extremely challenging incident and the firefighters involved did an amazing job to bring the flames under control, stop them from spreading to adjoining buildings and ensure the safety of the public.”
The restaurant’s owner, Bobby Singh, who has run The Taj with his family for 32 years, praised the community for their support since the incident occurred.
He told the Daily Record: “We have been truly humbled by the help and support we have had from our customers, neighbours and friends. And we want to thank everyone for their support. If it had not been the quick response of fire and rescue crews who were on the scene in minutes it could have been much worse.
“Then, we were astonished when ordinary people just turned up to assist in the aftermath and helped us carry out damaged equipment, debris and rubble which allowed us to get builders in much more quickly to start the refurbishment.”