A fire investigation will begin this morning into the cause of a major blaze that destroyed a St Ives business last night.

The fire is understood to have originated in a seafood restaurant on Wharf Road. The alarm was first raised at 5.09pm.

Falmouth Packet:

The fire broke out in a seafood restaurant. Picture: Peter Stratton

Fire crews from St Ives, Penzance and Hayle were sent initially, but the severity of the flames meant that at one stage there were 12 fire appliances tackling the incident.

A Cornwall Fire and Rescue spokesperson said: "Soon after arriving at the property a request for ‘make pumps six’ was made and further appliances from Penzance and Perranporth were mobilised to the scene.

"The incident escalated and at 10.20pm the request for ‘make pumps 12 and aerial ladder platforms two’ was made. "Appliances were mobilised to the scene from across the county, along with various supporting appliances and flexi duty officers."

Video: Peter Stratton

Specialist equipment brought in included aerial ladder platforms, incident command units, breathing apparatus support unit, a welfare vehicle and high volume pump.

An environmental response vehicle and the Red Cross Emergency Response vehicle were also brought in to support firefighters and others at the scene.

A further six appliances were sent at 11pm, as relief pumps for those who had been battling the fire for six hours by that point. Crews from St Ives, Penzance, Hayle, Perranporth, Falmouth, St Just, Truro, Newquay, St Austell, Helston, St Dennis, Tolvaddon, Mevagissey, Wadebridge, Fowey, Bodmin and Padstow were involved in fighting the fire.

Other stations including Mullion, St Keverne and Polruan provided cover.

The incident began scaling back not long after 2.30am and by 4.30am firefighters had entered the building wearing breathing apparatus and begun cutting away parts of it, and damping down.

A fire spokesperson said: "An initial fire investigation is to be carried out later today to identify the cause of the fire."