Categorized | Local, News

Gourmet Gardens restaurant goes down in flames

By staff reporters

Remains of Gourmet Gardens - view restricted by police tape

Remains of Gourmet Gardens – view restricted by police tape

At just after 9.00 p.m. on Thursday, December 18, a police car and police van raced through St. Peter’s, sirens blaring and only just managing the corner without skidding. Some minutes later a fire truck followed. The scene of the crisis was a huge fire at (Mariet’s) Gourmet Gardens Restaurant, basically a wooden structure in Salem.

By 9.20 p.m., when our reporter arrived on the scene, fire fighters were battling to contain flames reaching high above the nearby houses, with occasional sounds of small explosions. At around 9:35pm, officers from Salem Police Station began moving onlookers back from the scene and cordoned off the road.

Onlookers said that the fire had had plenty of time to take hold before fire fighters arrived on scene. Unconfirmed reports state that the restaurant was closed at the time the fire started, and a police officer at the scene confirmed that nobody was hurt, but refused to comment further on any aspect of the fire.

By 10.00 p.m. the fire seemed under control and flames were no longer visible from a distance, Nearby, sounds of the movie playing in Salem Park could be heard as huge clouds of smoke were fanned across the area by a brisk wind.

A police car blocked the southern junction of the road, between Olveston House, intermittently manned by officers from Salem Police Station. From observation there seemed to be some confusion about how to manage the diversion caused by the road closure, with an only option to turn left to continue into Olveston, to later accessing the continuing road into Salem. On the right at that junction there is a No Entry sign directly into Salem. Unfortunately there seems some confustion since there and rather than providing clear guidance to traffic in the area, the officers seemed more interested in threatening to charge drivers who were confused by the diversion and took wrong turns.

As the smoke clears and facts emerge, we hope to learn more about several onlookers and villagers concern, whether the length of time it took for a fire truck from the north of the island to Salem was a factor in the fire reaching its destructive level, There used to be a fire tender housed at the Salem Police Station, but police officials confirmed that there is none available at this time.

Entrance area to Gourmet Garden Restaurant

Entrance area to Gourmet Garden Restaurant

Our reporter witnessing the response noted that the fire and police officers travelling from the north were driving as fast as possible to get to the scene of the crisis. Observers expressed doubt and do not believe that they could have arrived any quicker.

A mixed crowd on the scene expressed commendation at the bravery of the fire fighters who were seen tackling the blaze, which was frightening in size and intensity.

There were also an outpouring of sympathy to the restaurant owner Mariet, who lost her restaurant, and to all others who were and might be affected by the devastating fire.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

By staff reporters

Remains of Gourmet Gardens - view restricted by police tape

Remains of Gourmet Gardens – view restricted by police tape

At just after 9.00 p.m. on Thursday, December 18, a police car and police van raced through St. Peter’s, sirens blaring and only just managing the corner without skidding. Some minutes later a fire truck followed. The scene of the crisis was a huge fire at (Mariet’s) Gourmet Gardens Restaurant, basically a wooden structure in Salem.

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By 9.20 p.m., when our reporter arrived on the scene, fire fighters were battling to contain flames reaching high above the nearby houses, with occasional sounds of small explosions. At around 9:35pm, officers from Salem Police Station began moving onlookers back from the scene and cordoned off the road.

Onlookers said that the fire had had plenty of time to take hold before fire fighters arrived on scene. Unconfirmed reports state that the restaurant was closed at the time the fire started, and a police officer at the scene confirmed that nobody was hurt, but refused to comment further on any aspect of the fire.

By 10.00 p.m. the fire seemed under control and flames were no longer visible from a distance, Nearby, sounds of the movie playing in Salem Park could be heard as huge clouds of smoke were fanned across the area by a brisk wind.

A police car blocked the southern junction of the road, between Olveston House, intermittently manned by officers from Salem Police Station. From observation there seemed to be some confusion about how to manage the diversion caused by the road closure, with an only option to turn left to continue into Olveston, to later accessing the continuing road into Salem. On the right at that junction there is a No Entry sign directly into Salem. Unfortunately there seems some confustion since there and rather than providing clear guidance to traffic in the area, the officers seemed more interested in threatening to charge drivers who were confused by the diversion and took wrong turns.

As the smoke clears and facts emerge, we hope to learn more about several onlookers and villagers concern, whether the length of time it took for a fire truck from the north of the island to Salem was a factor in the fire reaching its destructive level, There used to be a fire tender housed at the Salem Police Station, but police officials confirmed that there is none available at this time.

Entrance area to Gourmet Garden Restaurant

Entrance area to Gourmet Garden Restaurant

Our reporter witnessing the response noted that the fire and police officers travelling from the north were driving as fast as possible to get to the scene of the crisis. Observers expressed doubt and do not believe that they could have arrived any quicker.

A mixed crowd on the scene expressed commendation at the bravery of the fire fighters who were seen tackling the blaze, which was frightening in size and intensity.

There were also an outpouring of sympathy to the restaurant owner Mariet, who lost her restaurant, and to all others who were and might be affected by the devastating fire.