In the early hours of Monday morning, a fire broke out at Parma Cucina and Bar, the restaurant nearest to Urbanest in the Jane Foss Russell plaza. The fire was reported to emergency services at 12:26am and approximately half an hour later, at 12:52am, fire crews from Glebe and Newtown arrived at the the scene.
The small fire was contained before it could expand in size and cause further damage. Newtown and Marrickville’s Inner West police unit were not aware of it happening.
A witness to the fire response said smoke appeared to be coming from the back of the kitchen. They did not report seeing anyone in the restaurant at the time.
Video from Collin Zheng (original footage edited by supplier)
According to Fire and Rescue NSW’s report, an automatic fire alarm was set off by “simulated conditions”; caused by incense, candles, sparklers or a smoke machine.
But Angelo Bakoulis, the manager of Parma, refuted the claim. “No… it was just a wiring… some weird thing,” he said.
Bakoulis was alerted to the fire by his private security providers at 1:20am.
“What burnt was the deep fridge plug that went to the wall socket. So we’re thinking it had to be something to do with the [powerpoint].”
“We’re very lucky. It could have been a lot worse.”
It’s unclear at this stage whether Parma, the USU or USyd will cop the fee and service charge from Fire and Rescue NSW.