A well-known local southside restaurant had a lucky escape last week as arsonists set fire to waste bins located directly outside their back door!
And to make matters worse, the person/s responsible had also thrown gas bottles which had been stored behind the restaurant into the bins.
Owner, Michael Onorati told The Extra: “We were just closing up around 11.45pm and as part of our close down procedures we always check the fire escape.
“One of my staff could smell burning and when we opened the back door, which is also our fire exit, there was a massive fire with flames shooting 20 feet into the air.
“We have a contract with a waste company and they advised us that each bin would cost £400 plus vat to replace as a result of this attack on us.
“ We also contacted a commercial cleaning firm to come and survey the damage for insurance purposes, and to arrange a clean up as soon as possible .
“We contacted the council as well who said they couldn’t help us as we don’t use them for our bin collections but oddly we were then paid a visit from environmental health who advised us that we would be issued with a fine if we didn’t clean the mess up.
“ I have to say I’m totally disgusted with East Ren Council.We made every effort to deal with this crime against us correctly and promptly and it was obviously no fault of ours.
The council responded saying: “We’re very sorry that Michael experienced this wanton act of vandalism at his premises and completely appreciate that it was through no fault of his own.
“One of our environmental health officers attended the scene last Monday and suggested some local contractors that could clean up quickly in the interests of public health.
“ When he returned on the Wednesday and found that hazardous food waste had not yet been cleared, he asked for its immediate removal adding that the council may have to take formal action if the matter was not dealt with promptly.
“At no point did we mention issuing a fine.
“The officer returned to inspect the scene today and the situation has now been resolved to the satisfaction of all concerned.”