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Remembering the fire that shaped Aberdeen’s esplanade five years on

It’s five years to the day that flames tore through Jimmy Chung’s restaurant on Aberdeen’s beach esplanade.

It took more than 70 firefighters around nine hours to get the blaze under control that started in the Chinese buffet and spread to three other properties.

Aberdeen City Council issued a demolition warrant at the end of April 2014 knocking down Jimmy Chung’s restaurant, Pier Bistro, The Captain’s Table and ADS Janitorial in the process.

Aberdeen Beach engulfed by smoke after Jimmy Chung’s restaurant on the beach front caught fire.

Martin Vicca, manager of the neighbouring Inversnecky Cafe remembers fire as it ripped through the beach front businesses.

“My initial worry was it was actually the shop was on fire – from where I was I couldn’t tell if it was them (Jimmy Chung’s) or ourselves.

“I came back at around 2pm to discover that the fire had been doused by the road was still cut off.

Jimmy Chung’s on Aberdeen beach which caught fire.

“I was taken in by one of the firefighters to check on my property. At that point all power and gas had been cut off to the properties for safety.

“The road itself was closed to traffic for about a week, that had some effect but then a lot of people came down to see what was going on.

“Long term effect is that it removed two businesses from the front however about nine months we had a real mess of the fire damaged buildings sitting there. Even though it was behind screens and behind boarding it was still very obvious and quite unsightly.

Scene of the Jimmy Chung’s fire.

Speaking at the time of the incident, Scottish Fire and Rescue Area commander Andy Coueslant said: “I am impressed with the hard work and professionalism by the crews in challenging conditions.

“I would like to express my thanks to our partners in Police Scotland and Scottish Ambulance Service for their support.”

Aftermath of the fire at Jimmy Chung’s on Aberdeen beach.

Jimmy Chung’s buffet never opened again in Aberdeen and are now only operational in Inverness and Dundee in the UK. They also have one restaurant in Dublin, Ireland.

The Pier Bistro was the only business effected by the fire to reopen on the beach esplanade.

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