Restaurant fire repairs to cost about £50,000

Fire at The Water Margin Restaurant.''PICTURE: Peter Cawson
Fire at The Water Margin Restaurant.''PICTURE: Peter Cawson
Police car. Pitcure: Jon Rigby

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AROUND £50,000 worth of repairs will need to be done before a fire-damaged restaurant can reopen.

As reported in yesterday’s News, 25 firefighters worked to put out a blaze in Chinese buffet restaurant the Water Margin.

The fire started in the kitchen when a worker accidentally left a wok on the heat.

It is hoped the waterfront restaurant will be open in time for the Jubilee weekend.

John Waites, chairman of Water Margin Portsmouth Ltd, which runs the restaurant, said: ‘We’ve got a number of contractors coming in and we’ll be making a decision on who will carry out the work.

‘It’s only a guess, but we hope to be open by the Jubilee weekend, but it could be pretty tight on that.

‘We’re guessing the repairs will cost £50,000.’

Fire crews from Cosham, Southsea, Wickham and Havant were called to blaze on Tuesday morning.

Before the fire brigade arrived a sprinkler system kicked into action, which the restaurant owner believes stopped further damage being caused.

‘It’s very disappointing from our point of view because we are letting some of our regular customers down,’ added Mr Waites.

‘We’ve had to call customers and cancel several bookings.

‘But as a business it is one of the things you have to deal with.

‘The sprinklers really did their job.

‘This meant the damage caused was largely superficial.

‘It has kept the damage down to a minimum because it only stayed in the extraction unit.

‘Had it spread, it could’ve destroyed the roof and maybe moved on to neighbouring buildings.

‘That could’ve cost us a lot more.’

Scores of workers and shoppers were evacuated from the complex for almost two hours.