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Blaze of glory: Wrecked Hornchurch takeaway tops brigade poll

PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 December 2014 | UPDATED: 10:30 23 December 2014

Firefighters tackling the blaze in October (Picture: Stewart J. Neilson)

Firefighters tackling the blaze in October (Picture: Stewart J. Neilson)

Archant

A Hornchurch restaurant gutted by a fire earlier this year has been voted the best takeaway in Havering – in a London Fire Brigade (LFB) survey.

The takeaway lost out on business for about a month while it was renovatedThe takeaway lost out on business for about a month while it was renovated

Flames ripped through Charcoal Grill in Station Lane in October, forcing a month-long closure of the popular kebab joint and a massive loss of business.

Now the restaurant is back on its feet, footfall is improving and it has been recognised by an award designed to encourage people to avoid the risk of cooking after a night out.

Charcoal Grill owner Ed Suruku, 23, said that after a tough couple of months, he was pleased with their achievement. “We’re really happy – we’re proud of ourselves,” he said.

“We work hard, we’ve been here 23 years, and we’re well-established.

“We had to close the whole shop [after the fire], and we lost out on business for a month.”

Flames gripped the restaurant from about 9.30pm on October 11, starting downstairs before spreading upstairs through the house and destroying half the staircase.

The blaze, which also resulted in the rescue of cats from adjacent flats, led to an outpouring of grief on social media as patrons mourned the feared loss of a local institution.

Tom Smith (@TomSmith11) tweeted: “I just don’t know how to feel about life anymore...” with Ben Tillbrook replying: “The chile [sic] sauce was to die for!!! What is going on!!”

David Sparkes posted: “They do the best flame grilled burgers as well.”

The takeaway’s hard-earned recognition comes in a survey conducted by LFB, which asked people for their favourite fast food outlets.

It said three quarters of alcohol-related fires were caused by people cooking after a drink, and suggested revellers visit a map created using data from their survey to satisfy their drunk hunger.

Bekash Tandoori, in Victoria Road, Romford, and Kings Fish Bar in Rainham were among others nominated.

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