More than 300 visitors and staff were evacuated from one of Cornwall’s most important art galleries yesterday when a deep fat fryer caught fire in its kitchens.
The blaze at Tate St Ives started at around 12.30pm on Monday and three engines from the Cornwall Fire & Rescue service attended the scene.
Fire services confirmed that the blaze was extinguished just after 2pm and crews used breathing apparatus to search the four-storey building and a positive pressure ventilation fan to clear smoke. Emergency services left the scene an hour and half later.
The gallery includes prized work by the St Ives Modernists and attracts over 240,000 visitors every year. The current summer exhibition features pieces by Barbara Hepworth, Gareth Jones, Marlow Moss and Patrick Heron among others.
Cornwall Fire & Rescue released a statement saying “it believed that no damage to any art work in the gallery has occurred as a result of the fire” but said it would be confirmed after further inspection.
Tate released a statement which said: "At just after noon yesterday a small fire broke out in the kitchen at Tate St Ives. It was quickly contained. Nobody was hurt in the incident. There is no damage to artworks or the building. However some refurbishment to the kichen will be necessary."
The gallery opened as usual today.