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fire guts jamie oliver's melbourne 'fifteen' offices

fooftales | Jun 6, 200806:04 PM

heard about the fire yesterday, but an interesting twist was announced a little while ago.

source: the age, melbourne:

Man arrested for Oliver fire an employee

June 7, 2008 - 6:48AM

The man arrested by police on Friday in connection with a fire at the Melbourne headquarters of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver is an employee of his Fifteen restaurant.

A statement early on Saturday by the Fifteen Foundation, which was set up to encourage disadvantaged youth into the food industry, said the 32-year-old man from Fitzroy is a senior manager at the Fifteen restaurant.

"The employee is not a trainee and occupied a senior management position at the restaurant and was an external appointment," the Fifteen statement said.

It said the Fifteen Foundation and the restaurant are committed to continuing their work in Melbourne.

It said more than 35 trainees have been helped since the restaurant's launch in September 2006, and 20 new trainees will commence the Fifteen program next week.

The restaurant is about 200 metres from the offices and continues to trade as usual.

About 50 firefighters took 40 minutes to control the blaze at 101 Collins Street, which destroyed the Fifteen office and two other offices on the first floor of the building.

Nightspot and live music venue The Cherry Bar was also damaged in the blaze.

Metropolitan Fire Brigade commander Lou Mele said the damage bill could reach $1 million.

"Pretty much the whole first floor is gutted," Mr Mele said.

"That's where the fire started, on the first floor."

The blaze started on the first floor, gutting the interior of the three offices and collapsing part of the iron roof, but leaving the building otherwise structurally intact, Mr Mele said.

© 2008 AAP

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