THE chief executive of Prezzo restaurants has thanked firefighters for dealing with the blaze which completely gutted a North Yorkshire restaurant yesterday.

Up to 90 firefighters yesterday helped tackle a blaze believed to have started the restaurant kitchen in Albert Street, Harrogate.

It spread to four flats above the restaurant and caused smoke damage to several others. Firefighters stopped the fire spreading to next door properties.

The Press has been told the restaurant has been "completely gutted" by the fire. 

Jonathan Kaye, Prezzo chief executive, said: “We are thankful that no one was injured as a result of the fire at Prezzo in Harrogate yesterday morning.

“We thank and applaud the actions of the fire brigade in dealing with the fire.

“We will assist the fire brigade with their investigation to establish the cause of the fire.

“Overall the most important factor is that there were no casualties as a result of this terrible incident.

“Our primary concern is to secure the building and ensure it is safe. Once that is done, we will be assessing the damage.”

No one was believed to be injured but several pets - a hamster, rabbits and cats - were last ight unaccounted for", North Yorkshire Fire Service said.

Crews remained on scene overnight damping down hotspots.

At its peak a total of 18 fire engines and 90 firefighters were at the scene as well as an aerial ladder platform from Harrogate with another requested to attend from York.