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Bar owner Alan Daly works all night to clear The Auction House, in New Street, following a roof blaze yesterday

By Samantha Williams

The owner of a town centre bar says the venue will open tonight - despite a fire breaking out in the roof yesterday.

Fire crews and police were called to The Auction House Bar, in New Street, at 11.50am after a blaze started in the roof space.

Crews were at the scene for just over an hour extinguishing the flames and making the scene safe.

Sue Chapman captured this shot of the smoke billowing from the roof

And now, after pulling an all-nighter, owner Alan Daly says the bar will be open for business as usual.

He said: "With the help of some friends and really good staff and working through the night we are going to be back open tonight for indie Thursday.

"The bar wasn't affected by the fire.

Owner Alan Daly

"It started in the space above the toilets, which was used as storage.

"The fire service were brilliant. Even though they were on strike their quick action meant only one room suffered damage."

In total, five fire engines, two high access vehicles, police and ambulances were called to tackle the fire. No one was injured.

The fight happened outside The Auction House

Nearby Caffè Nero and Centre for Creativity and Enterprise (CCE) were evacuated as a precaution and Gilbert Road and part of New Rents were cordoned off by police.

Betsy Aidinyantz from CCE said: “We smelt burning plastic and one of our artists started screaming: ‘There’s a fire!’ So we called the fire brigade.”

The fire was out by 1pm.

The Auction House Bar, opposite the First World War tank, opened at the end of May this year.

The fire could be seen from New Rents

At the time Mr Daly said he wanted to cater to a more mature clientele than other bars, pubs and clubs in the town.

The venue, previously known as The Source bar, offers premium spirits and craft beers, with staff trained in creating authentic cocktails from fresh ingredients.

The bar will re-open at 7pm tonight.

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