Firefighters called to Ernie's Plaice roadside cafe in Whitstable after thick black smoke billows from chimney
Firefighters were called to a roadside cafe in Whitstable today after smoke began building in the kitchen while breakfasts were being prepared.
Two fire engines attended Ernie's Plaice, off the Old Thanet Way, at 9am after thick black smoke seeped through the cafe's chimney.
Former owner Ernie Tevik said smoke began to build after he switched on one of two deep fat fryers shortly before he was due to open.
Smoke billows from Ernie's Plaice off the Old Thanet Way
He said: "As soon as I turned it on, the next thing I knew was smoke started coming out. I could not believe it.
"Were open seven days a week and these machines were working yesterday. I don't know what's wrong with it."
Firefighters at the scene told Mr Tevik the smoke probably started because of cooking fat left on the fryer's lid.
Mr Tevik says he was once the owner of the cafe before relinquishing control to his son Ian two years ago.
Firefighters at Ernie's Plaice in Whitstable
Waitress Nikki Roy was cleaning the toilets at the time of the incident.
She said: "I just began to smell all this smoke coming through. The whole place was filling up so we decided to get out as soon as we can.
"Everyone is ok. The chef has puffy eyes but other than that we are fine."
Firefighters used hose reels and fans to clear the smoke from the cafe.
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