Fire at Albert Square block

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

Around 10 fire engines and 70 firefighters attended an incident in Albert Square in Manchester city centre yesterday after a fire in a restaurant kitchen spread throughout the building.

The Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service was called to Carlton House and St Andrew's Chambers in Mount Street at midday on Tuesday 14 January and had the fire under control by around 3.30pm.

Earlier in the day smoke was visible emerging from the top floors and side of the building, which is next to Manchester Town Hall.

Carlton House is owned by Carlton House Group. Occupiers include the State Bank of India, Indian restaurant Rajdoot Tandoori, Nexus Solicitors, and East Asian chain Tampopo.

St Andrew's Chambers is owned and partly occupied by property management company Wrather & Co. Wrather & Co was back in the office and operating as usual this morning. Albert Square Chop House is on the opposite side of the block next to Lloyd Street and was unaffected by the fire.

Carlton House fire damageA statement from the fire service said that the fire had started in the kitchen of one of the restaurants, understood to be Rajdoot Tandoori. As the restaurants' kitchens share the same duct for extraction, firefighters had to carry out an extensive investigation to search for fire spread.

All occupants were evacuated safely.

In an update on Twitter, Tampopo said that it had experienced some minor smoke damage, and that it hoped to be open again as soon as possible.

By late afternoon the fire service had scaled back its presence on the site from 11 to five fire engines, and crews remained on the site throughout the night as a safety precaution.

The Gothic-style properties were built in 1872.

The landlords declined or were unavailable to comment.

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UPDATE: Fire now under control, emergency service presence reduced to five engines on the site. Image of damage inside the building. Fire understood to have started in the Rajdoot Tandoori restaurant.

By Ed.