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BREAKING: Major fire at Mu Mu in Week Street, Maidstone

Wednesday 14th July 2021



A LARGE blaze has broken out at Mu Mu restaurant and nightclub in Maidstone.

Fire crews were called to the scene at around 2.30am this morning. 

Around 15 fire engines were in attendance, as well as a height vehicle and a command support unit. 

People who live and work in the area are advised to close their windows and doors.

Local residents suggest the fire may have started in the upper floor of the building, possibly in staff quarters.

A shell-shocked looking Mu Mu owner Ciaran O’Quigley arrived at the scene at around 11.40am where he was seen speaking to fire and police officer. He declined to speak to the media.

There are no reports of injuries.

Firefighters wearing oxygen masks were seen climbing on top of the building.

Police are escorting people who need to use the pharmacy and doctors through the cordon.

Acrid smoke is filling the air all the way down to Marks and Spencer and W H Smith.

Fire investigators are trying to establish the cause of the blaze.

A police spokesman said: "We're manning the cordon at present and we'll wait to hear back from the fiere service."

Ward borough councillor David Naghi said: "This is a tragedy for a very popular and much-loved restaurant and club just at a time when things are meant to be getting back to normal."

Mu Mu owner Ciaran O'Quigley declined to comment but was seen outside the burning building early this morning. He returned shortly before midday to speak to police and fire officers.

Mr O'Quigley is a respected and well-liked member of the Maidstone business community.

A friend, who asked not to be named, said: "Ciaran will be in bits. He's spent years building the business and now it's gone up in flames. He was looking forward to getting the business back up and running after the lifting of restrictions and then this happens. A tragedy."

A spokesman for Trash or Treasure, next door, posted on Facebook: "So some of you might have heard that Mu Mu has had a devastating fire last night.

"Everyone is safe but the building does adjoin ours and we will not be allowed in to access any damage until the fire brigade tell us. We think we escaped the fire but have to check for any heat or water/smoke damage. So we won’t be open today."

Apollo Taxis wrote on Facebook: "We have been as shocked as everybody else by the images this morning. After the terrible couple of years this industry has faced to have been hit by a fire like this just days before restrictions are lifted is just awful and truly beyond words.

"The O'Quigley Family have supported us for the last 10 years at least and helped us to grow. They are genuine, hard working, generous and an asset to Maidstone. Today is devastating for all involved at MU MU and we will be there as and when they need our support."

It is unlikely shops and business in the immedaite area will be able to trade today.

Maidstone cab firm Apollo Taxis said: "We have been as shocked as everybody else by the images this morning.

"After the terrible couple of years this industry has faced to have been hit by a fire like this just days before restrictions are lifted is just awful and truly beyond words.

"The O'Quigley family have supported us for the last 10 years at least and helped us to grow. They are genuine, hard working, generous and an asset to Maidstone."

Mr O'Quigley recently complained his business was being hampered by 'no-show' customers leaving him with staffing issues.

Local businesspeople have been raising concerns about the level of crime in that part of Week Street and nearby Brenchley Gardens.

PICS: Nikki Waterman/Jade Schopman

REPORTING TEAM: Jade Schopman and Simon Finlay

UPDATE FROM KENT FIRE & RESCUE SERVICE

Update 11.30AM

Update at 11:30: Eight fire engines and a height vehicle remain at the scene of a fire in a nightclub and restaurant in Week Street, Maidstone. The fire is now under control, and previous advice for people living and working nearby to close windows and doors due to smoke, has been lifted. Members of the public are still being asked to avoid the area where possible, while crews and other agencies work at the scene. There are no reported casualties, and a fire investigation will be carried out to establish the cause. 

8.10AM

Update at 08:10 Twelve fire engines and a height vehicle remain at the scene of a fire in a nightclub and restaurant in Week Street, Maidstone. Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus continue to tackle the blaze. There are no reported casualties, and a fire investigation will be carried out to establish the cause. Earlier advice for people living and working nearby to close windows and doors due to smoke, remains in place. Members of the public are also asked to avoid the area while crews and other agencies work at the scene. Follow @KentHighways on Twitter for road closure information and updates. .................................... Update 06.50: Fifteen fire engines remain at the scene of a large fire at a commercial premises in Week Street, Maidstone. A height vehicle and the technical rescue team are also in attendance. No casualties have been reported. KFRS' volunteer response team are on-hand to provide support and welfare to those affected. People who live and work in the area are still advised to keep their windows and doors closed, due to large amounts of smoke coming from the fire. Members of the public are also asked to avoid the area while crews work alongside other partner agencies at the scene. Please share this advice with any neighbours or friends, who might not have access to the internet or social media. ................................... Kent Fire and Rescue Service has been called to reports of a fire at a commercial premises in Week Street, Maidstone. Fifteen fire engines are in attendance, as well as a height vehicle and a command support unit. People who live and work in the area are advised to close their windows and doors, due to large amounts of smoke coming from the fire. Members of the public are also asked to avoid the area while crews work at the scene. More to follow.

 

 

 

 

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