Busselton eatery blaze sparks $7m lawsuit over tea towels

The owners of a popular Busselton eatery destroyed by fire in 2021 have dragged their former cleaners to court, claiming their failure to extinguish the blaze sparked by tea towels in a tumble dryer cost them millions.

The Goose Beach Bar & Kitchen at the foot of the Busselton jetty was a hotspot for tourists and locals until the early hours of April 12, 2021, when a blaze engulfed the building and left it uninhabitable.

The Goose Beach Bar & Kitchen was destroyed by fire in April 2021.

The Goose Beach Bar & Kitchen was destroyed by fire in April 2021.

A probe into the fire uncovered it was sparked by oil soaked tea towels, which were placed in the storage room’s domestic tumble dryer by an employee before the restaurant was closed the previous night.

But according to a writ lodged in the Supreme Court of WA this week, the bar’s owners now claim the fire could have been extinguished at 3:05am — because that’s what their cleaners were instructed to do.

The bar’s owner Q & Z Group claims the couple behind Jasmin Cleaning Services, Renato and Jasmin Serraon, had begun cleaning the restaurant when they noticed smoke emanating from the tumble dryer about 3:05am.

Six minutes later, the owner claims the bar’s general manager Tim Meikle received a text message from the pair informing him of the smoke and burnt items in the tumble dryer and that the power had been switched off.

Meikle allegedly responded directing them to obtain a fire extinguisher from the kitchen, extinguish any remnant of the blaze and remove the burnt items from the tumble dryer.

But Q & Z Group, led by Qi and Cheah Eng, claims they failed to do so.

Over the course of the next hour, the writ states the exothermic reaction of the oils embedded in the tea towels continued to self-heat and saw the fire spread to other parts of the restaurant until it was engulfed in flames.

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