A CHEF sprung into action to put out a fire in the kitchen of a Stamford restaurant.
Zarrac Carter, 24, was cooking at Uncle Sam’s Restaurant and Grill in Castle Street at 8.45pm on Wednesday when he noticed flames licking from the extractor fan.
He called to Danni Marrison, 19, who was in charge of the restaurant that evening. She passed him a fire extinguisher before she led five customers outside to safety.
The blaze caused all the lights in the restaurant to go out.
Zarrac, of Tinwell Road Lane, Stamford, said: “Everything was fine and then I just saw all these flames coming from the extractor fan.
“All the lights went off and I just panicked. I got the fire extinguisher and put it out as best I could.”
Zarrac, who has been chef at the restaurant since June last year, added: “It’s not something that happens every day at work and it was quite a shock.”
By the time the three fire crews arrived, two from Stamford and one from Market Deeping, the blaze was out.
Manager of the restaurant Mark Marrison and his wife Gill were at home in Essendine when they got a phone call from Danni, their daughter.
Mark praised the actions of Zarrac and Danni.
He said: “They both did exactly the right thing and if it hadn’t have been for them, things could have been a lot worse than they are.
“Zarrac saved the building. We are very proud of both of them.”
While the customers were outside with Danni, they noticed flames coming from the extractor fan’s vent and a nearby tree was scorched.
Mr Marrison, who rushed to the restaurant as soon as he received the phone call, said: “The customers were really good about it.
“They were on holiday and they took their food outside with them. I think they thought it was all a bit of fun.”
The extractor fan was damaged and there was some smoke damage. The restaurant will be closed until the extractor fan can be replaced and it is not known when it will reopen.
Mr Marrison said: “It’s the last thing we need at the moment, but we are lucky and no-one was hurt which is the main thing.”
The blaze was caused by an electrical fault with the extractor fan. The repairs needed will be covered by insurance.