Owner of the Tidy Dotter Gerry Martin outside
the remains of the popular bar and restaurant. US1008-103A0
THE leaseholder of The Tidy Doffer says he is
uncertain what the future holds for the gastropub at Ravarnet
which was devastated in a blaze last Thursday.
Gerry Martin, who was at home in Hillsborough
when he got a call at lunch time from staff telling him a fire
had started, said he was 'relieved that nobody had been hurt'
after the blaze broke out in the restaurant area one of
Ireland's largest thatched buildings.
"That is the most important thing. Two
customers and about six staff had to be evacuated" Mr Martin
"1 have to praise the absolutely superb work
of the Fire Crews who came from all over Northern Ireland. The
staff must also be praised too."
It is thought a spark from an open fire
started the blaze which was brought under control by fire crews
using a special foam.
Speaking on the future of the well-known
establishment Mr Martin said he is 'uncertain' what will happen.
"I would love to get it up and running as
soon as possible but it is out of my hands because first of all
I don't own the property and secondly there are insurance
procedures to go through.
"Obviously we're uncertain about staff and
what's going to happen in that respect, and I have no experience
in this type of thing, so I don't know myself at this stage.
"I am hoping and assuming it will be
Mr Martin explained that he didn't think the
fire would be as bad as it was.
"I was shocked when I was only half way up
the road and I saw raging flames. My heart sank." At the height
of the blaze a total of 10 fire appliances attended the scene.
Regular pumping appliances and three specialist
Fire Units including a water tanker, a high
rise aerial appliance and the Command Support Unit were in
An NI Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson
said by the time they arrived the roof section of the bar had
been destroyed but Fire Crews managed to stop it spreading to
the newer part of the building.
"The new Compressed Air Foam System (CAST)
was used to tackle the fire; it is a very effective method of
firefighting using less water. Fire Crews remained at the scene
to dampen down the building" said a spokesperson.