A RESTAURANT just 400m away from the flames of the Winter Hill fire lost an estimated £40,000 during the incident.

San Marino, a Mediterranean restaurant in Belmont Road, has been caught in the middle of the blaze since it ignited three weeks ago.

Because of the multiple road closures, which included Belmont Road, the eatery has had a severe downfall in trade as customers were unable to get to the premises until they were reopened on Tuesday.

Adam Hardman, aged 35, owns the restaurant with his business partner Aziz Berisha and he said it added up to a loss of 80 per cent of what it would have usually made.

He said: “We have not been able to do anything about it. It’s just been one of those things.

“We tried to support the firefighters as best as we can by trying to give them free pizzas, pastas and soft drinks.

“We could see from the images being shared that the fire was coming closer and closer to the restaurant. It was so scary.

“It has been unfortunate and we have probably lost £40,000 in sales just because people have not been able to get to us due to the road closures.

“It was so bad at times because of the restricted access and even though we were still open we have had pretty much nobody in."

But the restaurant has been praised for the way it has helped the firefighters.

In a post on its Facebook page, Bolton North Fire Station thanked the staff and urged customers to pay the restaurant a visit.

Mr Hardman said: "Nobody else knew about how much money we were losing and it was just nice to see that."

He added: "I think the fire was probably about 400m away at one point. I have to thank the gamekeepers in Belmont as they have put in so much work to make sure the forest was not affected.

"If the forest opposite us had gone up then that would have been it. It is scary to think of it."

"I am just glad that the fire is all under control."

The premises has also had to put back the opening date of its launch of Lotties farm shop, run by Mr Hardman's wife Katie, which was due to open in the new extension of the building this summer.