Fire crews called to a suspected residential fire above a branch of Las Iguanas discovered the blaze was actually taking place in the restaurant’s kitchen.
Officers from Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service attended a call at 9.45pm on Saturday after smoke was reported in a building where the Exeter branch of the Latin American chain is based.
They initially thought the fire was outside the restaurant, but thermal imaging equipment pinpointed the real location after diners had been evacuated.
A spokesperson for Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service told FEJ: “We were called to Las Iguanas in Exeter on Saturday night after smoke was first seen in the flats above the restaurant.
“Fire crews found no sign of the fire and a thermal imaging camera was used which tracked it down to the kitchen. The fire was behind a wall of the kitchen so fire crews removed part of the wall and extinguished it.”
The spokesperson said the fire had taken hold in a void in the wall of the kitchen. “It was pretty well-contained and a hose reel jet was used to put it out.”
Reports suggest the branch has only recently undergone refurbishment. It has remained closed for the last two days while the damage is repaired.
The cause of the fire has not yet been disclosed.