Deansgate bar burns with horror as star throwers ‘set fire to Christmas decorations’ after New Year’s countdown

A fire inside a Deansgate bar was triggered when ‘blazer’ set fire to Christmas decorations after the New Year’s countdown.

Champagne star launchers ignited helium balloons attached to the basement roof, sources claim.

Witnesses have told of the frightening moment when the fire broke out just minutes after midnight in the bar One Eight Six.

READ MORE: Man in his 30s found dead on village road in New Year tragedy

About 170 partygoers were evacuated and two men were taken to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.

A witness told Manchester Evening News : “There were dozens of balloons that decorated the venue’s ceiling.

“At midnight, the staff took out the star throwers and gave them to people.

“They were everywhere.

“The tables below us lifted theirs in the air, and the balloons just burst into flames.

An investigation continues

“At the same time, people were spraying champagne. It went fast.

“I saw it and screamed just to run. The whole ceiling was on fire and all the balloons made a popping sound.”

The fire is believed to have torn through the roof of the bar.

A witness inside the bar claimed that staff handed out champagne flares – star-throwing props that emit a flame – as the countdown to midnight approached.

Many partygoers held them up in the air as the balloons ignited.

It is understood that champagne was sprayed on the burning balloons in an attempt to stop the fire before a fire extinguisher was used.

Another witness added: “The staff burned their hands on spotlights because they had too many in their hands.”

The development came when the fire department today confirmed that it was now working with Greater Manchester Police to determine a cause.

Firefighters on site

An investigation continued today.

In a statement released today, a spokesman for One Eight Six said a star thrower was ‘caught up in the Christmas decorations’ – praising the fire department’s response.

The bar said it was “deeply saddened by this incident”.

That Manchester Evening News has contacted the One Eight Six bar to get comments on the specific allegations along with the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service.

A spokesman for the bar said: “Security is of utmost importance to us and we are cooperating with the relevant authorities.”

The fire department said: “The investigation is still ongoing and nothing has been confirmed yet.”

Firefighters on site

But in an updated statement, a GMFRS spokesman confirmed that Greater Manchester Police were now involved.

The spokesman said: “Just after midnight on Saturday, January 1, firefighters were called in to report a fire in the basement of a commercial building on Deansgate.

“Four fire trucks from Moss Side, Gorton, Broughton and Manchester Central fire stations quickly responded to the incident.

“Firefighters wearing respirators used two hose reels and an overpressure fan to put out the fire and remove smoke from the building.

“About 170 people were evacuated from the premises. Three men were treated at the scene of smoke inhalation by the North West Ambulance Service, two of whom were later taken to hospital.

The emergency services are responding to the fire

“GMFRS crew remains on site.

“Fire investigation teams are working with Greater Manchester Police to determine the cause of the fire.”

Firefighters, police and paramedics rushed to the scene as the bar on Deansgate was evacuated and a roadblock was put in place.

City Councilman Pat Karney promised a full investigation into the fire.

A spokesman for One Eight Six said: “We can confirm that there was unfortunately a fire at One Eight Six last night after a star thrower was caught on Christmas decorations.

“This was handled quickly and very efficiently by the fire department.

“All guests and staff were evacuated safely without injury.

“The damage is limited to the main bar with all other areas of the building unaffected.

“We are deeply saddened by this incident, but we are guaranteed to come back and look forward to welcoming new and old customers back.”

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