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Overnight fire and explosion destroys harbour restaurants PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 03 December 2014

Kalkan harbour side fire

Article updated: Today is a very sad day for Kalkan.

Five popular harbour side restaurants were destroyed overnight, following a devastating fire.  The intensity of the fire is thought to have caused gas bottles to explode, fueling the flames even more.

Dramatic photographs in our reports, taken shortly after 04.00, show the row of restaurants from Kleo Bar by the beach, all the way to Yakamoz (Jimmy's) consumed by the flames.  The restaurants were totally destroyed, both inside and outside.

Thankfully there are no reports of any casualties.

In the article below we report in words on the blaze and its aftermath.  To view images of the scene, please click on the following two links:

Photographs of the fire raging in the early hours of Wednesday 3rd December 2014

Photographs of the aftermath of the fire, taken shortly after 09.00 on Wednesday 3rd December 2014 

Firefighters tackle blaze
It is understood that as many as 10 fire tenders came out to tackle the conflagration, but the firefighters were unable to contain the flames.  The fire was fuelled by a dangerous combination of wooden furniture and signs, plastic awnings, bottles of alcohol and LPG gas bottles, making the work of the firefighters extremely hazardous.

It is thought that the fire started some time around 03.00.  People are speculating on the cause of the fire, but as this has not yet been established with certainty we will not add to the speculation, however at this stage there is no suggestion that this was anything other than an accident.

The Jandarma were present this morning as were managers from the local electric company, who were no doubt keen to ascertain whether some kind of electrical fault may have played a part in last night's events.

Utter devastation
This morning all that remains is a row of charred buildings that were home to Kleo Bar, Seaport restaurant, Mussakka restaurant, Deniz restaurant and Yakamoz (Jimmy's) restaurant.  Fortunately there is no damage to the nearby Fener Cafe or to Salt and Pepper and Korsan restaurants, which are directly above the scene of the fire.

Looking at the scene of devastation through the twisted and blackened metalwork, it is possible to see the original buildings that were hitherto masked by the temporary structures built by the restaurants.

The morning after
Shortly after 09.00 this morning the acrid smell of burnt plastic lingered in the air.  The few remaining Belediye firemen were busy putting out small fires which continued to flare up from the smouldering wreckage inside the fire blackened buildings.

Smoke was still visible, emerging out of the chimneys and vents from what remained of the kitchens.  The gloomy skies above reflected the dismal mood that hung over the street, still wet with water from the fire hoses. 

Visit by the Mayor
There was a steady stream of people heading down to the harbour this morning, coming to witness the dreadful scene, and to express their condolences to the people affected.

The Mayor, Halil Kocaer, and several people from the Belediye visited to see first hand what had happened and talk to the restaurant owners.

It was heartbreaking to see the sadness etched on the faces of those caught up in this incident.  But the mood of despondency was somewhat tempered by a feeling of relief that nobody had been injured.

Unbelievable
The owner of Mussakka restaurant, Mehmet Benli first heard about the fire from the owner of Kleo Bar, Durali Kaska, who called him in the middle of the night.  Mehmet told us that at first he could not believe what he was hearing, but he quickly made his way down to the harbour and saw the whole row of restaurants ablaze.

He told us that it was impossible to get in to his restaurant to recover anything, as the blaze was too fierce.

Deniz Tekin, the owner of Seaport restaurant, told us that the first he realised there was a problem was when he looked out from the balcony of his home this morning and saw the flashing lights from the fire trucks in the distance.

He arrived to discover that everything in his restaurant had been destroyed.

Recovering from the blow
The fire came at a time of year when most restaurants are closed, although Mussakka restaurant was in fact still trading, and Kleo Bar had also been open.  Clearly they will not be able to continue with their planned business over Christmas and the New Year.  This is going to impact on the business owners themselves, and the staff who work there.

But as bad as things undoubtedly are now, the fact that this has happened out of season does mean that the overall impact is not as great as it would have been had it happened mid season.  Although it is a daunting task, there is time to recover before the start of next season.

Given that there were plans to redevelop the harbour side, it will be interesting to see how the Belediye reacts to this fire in properties that they in fact own, and we await news on what will emerge from the ashes.

Quite apart from what the Belediye may do, we feel sure that the local community will rally round and support those affected.

Our thoughts and best wishes go out to the business owners and staff.  May they quickly recover from this dreadful blow.  We sincerely hope that they can bounce back in time for the new season.  Geçmiş olsun.

For information, this article was originally published as one report including 22 photographs from the fire scene.  The number of people reading this story has been extraordinarily high, and the exceptional demand on our servers has resulted in people being unable to open our web pages.  We have therefore split the report into three parts, with the photographs now available by clicking on the links above.

We are sorry that KTLN readers have had difficulty accessing the site today.  Hopefully we have resolved the issue.

 

Kalkan Turkish Local News - your window on Kalkan Turkey.

Katie-Ellen

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Last Updated on Friday, 05 December 2014