River Cottage — the venue and cookery school owned by TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall — has vowed that “life will return to normal very quickly” after a serious fire ripped through its commercial kitchen on Tuesday night.
Firefighters spent three hours bringing the blaze under control as they attempted to secure the converted barn where the kitchen was located.
One report claimed the facility contained 10 ovens, each with its own gas cylinder, which posed a major safety hazard due to the potential of explosions.
River Cottage yesterday issued a statement saying that the cause of the fire was currently unknown.
“The River Cottage team are shocked and upset, and are dealing with the damage today,” it said. “Hugh is away on a long distance filming trip and will be informed as soon as he can be contacted. We would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to the Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service, who were on the scene quickly and worked hard to contain the fire.”
The business said its Canteen and Deli were unaffected by the incident and remained open as usual. It has now pledged to get the Axminster property running again as soon as possible
The statement continued: “River Cottage courses and events will not be running in the short term, but we’re very confident that we will be hosting events and courses as usual in next to no time. The team are in positive mood, and we will be able to confirm our plans for alternative arrangements on site at River Cottage HQ by the end of Thursday 9 February. Life will return to normal very quickly.”