Firefighters remained at the scene of a fire on Thursday morning in Bridgend after a blaze broke out at a historic building and destroyed the building.
The fire occurred at a building on Nolton Street, which local residents refer to as ‘the Ranch’, with a number of nearby being evacuated.
A number of crew members from South Wales Fire and Rescue Service attended the scene on Wednesday evening, while fire crews were on scene on Thursday morning.
The privately-owned three-storey building, which most recently was an Italian restaurant called Franco’s, is due to be inspected by structural engineers today (Thursday).
Bridgend council said they will then made a decision on whether it is safe to reopen Nolton Street, which remains closed to traffic this morning following the fire.
Witness Nathan Young was one of the first members of the public at the scene and made a call to the fire service.
He was driving past with his wife on his way home when he saw the smoke blazing into the sky.
He said: “I Was just driving past after going to the shop and saw the smoke. I knew it had been empty for years so straight away called the fire service.
“There were quite a few people there watching after me and my wife were the only ones around at first when we first spotted it.
“We got the woman who lives next door out.”
Dr Angela Morelli, a Bridgend town councillor, said ‘The Ranch’ was a historic building for the people of Bridgend.
“It’s a historical building and it’s part of our history in Bridgend and I’m sad that it’s gone,” she said.
“I was out doing my recycling and my neighbour told me about the fire, I looked back and the sky was full of thick black smoke, it was awful.
“My first concern at the time was for the residents in the nearby streets and we weren’t sure if anyone was in the building.
“There’s also an unused pub there so we weren’t sure which building was on fire. It was just very worrying.”
The scene of the fire in Bridgend
Dr Morelli said ‘The Ranch’ was a chip shop when she was growing up and she has fond memories of the building.
She added: “It’s one of those places that had a big history in our town and I visited the building a lot when I was younger.
“Everyone was out on the street watching and were grateful for the fire service who did a great job.”
A spokeswoman for South Wales Fire Service, said: “At approximately 7.49pm on Wednesday April 15, we received reports of a building fire on Nolton Street, Bridgend.
“Crews from Bridgend, Kenfig Hill, Pencoed, Barry and Cardiff Central attended the scene and extinguished the fire.”
The spokeswoman added there were no injuries reported.
South Wales Police said the incident was under investigation.
Councillor Richard Young, cabinet member for communities at Bridgend council, said: “I’m grateful to the emergency services for their swift response.
“Anyone with a valid reason not to be at home as per the Government restrictions on movement should avoid the area and use an alternative route until we can determine whether it is safe to reopen the road.”