Hotel to re-open bar area tomorrow
Firefighters believe an overheated exhaust fan was responsible for a fire that burnt out a hotel kitchen in Horsham on Sunday night.
Country Fire Authority Region 17 operations officer Alfred Mason said the fire, which started about 6.40pm at the Commercial Hotel in Wilson Street, had started near the fan.
He said a build-up of cooking residue was the most likely cause of the fan becoming overheated.
“The fire was contained to only the kitchen,” he said.
“This meant there was only minimal damage to the hotel overall, but extensive damage to the kitchen.”
Mr Mason said about 60 hotel patrons were evacuated and electricity and gas supplies disconnected as firefighters took between 30 and 40 minutes to control the blaze.
He said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the fire.
Hotel owner Gary Jelly said he hoped to re-open a bar area by tomorrow night.
• Horsham Regional Art Gallery remains closed in response to the fire.
Gallery staff members are assessing conservation climate requirements for the protection of gallery exhibitions and collections.
Horsham Rural City Council community wellbeing director Kevin O’brien said there had been no reported damage at the gallery but there was a need to ensure potential smoke and moisture concerns were addressed.