At 11:37am on Tuesday 18th March 2014, a huge fire broke out in the kitchens of the Prezzo restaurant on Albert Street in Harrogate and quickly spread to the two storeys above, destroying flats owned by a housing association. More than 90 firefighters and 18 fire engines were brought in to battle the blaze, as thick smoke which could be seen for miles around engulfed the Harrogate town centre. The fire appeared to be under control for some time but it spread through wall and floor cavities in the old building gathering pace and taking hold. Firefighters wearing specialist breathing equipment had to leave the building as it became too dangerous when walls and stairs started to collapse.The RRT feeding trailer was well used by the tired fire crew
The fire crews fought the blaze using water jets, smashing windows to minimise damage if an explosion occurred. By 2:30pm, the blaze reached its peak, with flames seen billowing from the roof of the old three-storey building. The blaze began to be brought under control by late afternoon and firefighters started to scale back through the evening.Happy, willing RRT team members!
But despite their best efforts, fighting through the night to contain the fire, 13 flats were damaged and destroyed in the blaze… Thankfully nobody was injured in the fire but several small pets were trapped in the building and the residents in the 13 flats had to be moved into temporary accommodation.Fire crew working hard to cool down the hot spots
The Harrogate Rapid Relief Team (RRT) arrived on site around 5:45pm and were kept busy feeding many hungry firemen and women with soup, tea, coffee, soft drinks, crisps, chocolates and biscuits. Not only did the firefighters come to the RRT feeding trailer, but the RRT were able to take refreshments to, and move freely amongst the firefighters actually fighting the fire. The firefighters, police and ambulance crew were very grateful for the refreshments and expressed their appreciation in many ways – a list of comments were noted down on a piece of paper in the RRT feeding trailer with one policeman telling them that they were a real Godsend.This poor woman lost her home in the fire! Fire nearly out!