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The Auction House Bar, New Street, Ashford, caught fire and Caffè Nero and Centre for Creativity and Enterprise (CCE) were evacuated

Firefighters have been tackling a blaze at new venue The Auction House Bar in New Street, Ashford.

Smoke could be seen billowing from the building after a fire started in the roof space at 11.50am.

Firefighters entered the building after four fire engines and two height vehicles rushed to the town centre blaze.

The Auction House Bar in Ashford on fire

Bar manager Sean Furlong was enjoying a day off when he drove past the business and noticed all the commotion.

He said: “The fire is in the very back of the building in the roof above the toilets. We don’t think it’s affected the operational space.

“The bar was open at the time and had to be evacuated. It’s too early at the moment to speculate about a cause but we are hoping the business won’t be too badly affected.”

Firefighters and police near the New Street fire

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 business only opened in May in the old building previously occupied by The Source bar.
Owner Alan Daly told the Express at the time: “We’re hoping to attract a slightly older crowd, people who perhaps don’t want to go somewhere at 7pm and have loud music blaring at them.

“It’s not a club and it’s not a pub, it’s more like a London bar which we don’t really have here in Ashford.”

The fire was out by 1pm.

Video: Taken by David Burdon

Video: Firefighters tackle blaze at Ashford bar

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