Fire in kitchen shuts Torquay’s Riviera centre for a day

The Riviera International Conference Centre in Torquay was closed for a day, 22 June, after an early morning fire in the main kitchen. One small event was affected.

The conference centre management said assessments of the damage were underway and that the blaze had been detected at 5.40am.

Nine fire crews attended the scene to tackle the fire.

Marking manager Sarah James told CN: “The main concern is water damage in public areas caused by the sprinklers. But conference and events are now all going ahead from today (23 June).

“The Aqua Lounge remains out of use but work has already begun to repair damaged areas. We will be setting up an alternative café operation as soon as possible.”

James said a small local meeting had had to be cancelled on 22 June. She said no one was injured and the fire was contained and damage now being assessed. Only one member of the Health Club staff was in the building at the time.

The shutdown, James added, was in order for the emergency services to ensure it was safe to restore power in the centre.

Martin Corsey, Torquay fire crew manager, described it as “quite a serious kitchen fire involving some of the appliances”.

“The sprinklers did operate and did a really good job,” he added.

James told CN that the coffee shop and pool remained shut and the kitchen would be out of use for some time.

She added that the timing of the incident could have been worse, with 500 delegates in the building last week (17-19 June) for the National Federation of Newsagents conference and 200 delegates expected next week for the British Association of Day Surgery.

Simon Jolly, general manager of the RICC, added: “I would like to say a big thank you for the excellent service and support we received from the Fire Service, both at the time of the fire and throughout the rest of the day whilst the incident was investigated. I’d also like to thank the RICC Team on site yesterday who worked tirelessly on what was obviously a very challenging day”.

Paul Colston


Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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