A FIRE in the kitchen of a riverside restaurant in York early this morning caused "severe" damage.

Five crews with 20 firefighters were called to the fire, which was at the Star Inn the City restaurant in Museum Street.

The fire service received a call at about 5.05am from a member of the public who spotted flames coming from the restaurant. The first crew was on the scene within about four minutes.

The crews managed to contain the fire to the kitchen and a void above the kitchen.

Station manager Peter Gregory, based at York Station, said: "There is severe fire damage.

"It took about two hours to get under control. It was awkward to get to it.

"At the moment the incident is left open for revisits to make sure there are no hot spots."

Mr Gregory said a fire investigation is now taking place to determine the cause.

He added that there was nothing at this stage to suggest the fire was suspicious.

The crews used eight breathing apparatus and three hose reel jets to deal with the fire.

They left the scene at around 7.50am.

Andrew Pern, from the restaurant, said: “The kitchen will be out of action for a short time. 

"We will hope to have the bar area open for next weekend (November 17 and 18) for drinks and light snacks only. 

"I would like to thank North Yorkshire Fire Service and some of our senior staff for their swift response to a difficult situation."