‘Spalding fire destroyed my business’

A firefighter with a hose runs through smoke in The Crescent to reach the burning building. Photo (TIM WILSON) SG060616-109TW

A firefighter with a hose runs through smoke in The Crescent to reach the burning building. Photo (TIM WILSON) SG060616-109TW

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Spalding businesses are counting the cost of a devastating fire and one boss says he’s been ruined and will have to close.

Monday’s fire in a first floor storeroom above Abbey Recruitment, in Abbey Path, knocked out electricity supplies to five businesses.

Smoke billows from the roof of Abbey Recruitment at 8.30am on Monday. SG060616-100TW

Smoke billows from the roof of Abbey Recruitment at 8.30am on Monday. SG060616-100TW

All of them lost two days’ trading with no power supplies because their electricity meters were in the storeroom.

Nasza Biendronka owner Saman Mahmood says he’s thrown out chilled food worth thousands of pounds and isn’t insured.

“Next week it will be my last day because I close down,” said Mr Mahmood.

He’s estimated his loss at £6,000 to £7,000, but says it could be higher.

A firefighter aims water at roof of Abbey Recruitment. SG060616-112TW

A firefighter aims water at roof of Abbey Recruitment. SG060616-112TW

As well as losing food from the fridges, he’s had no one in the shop buying because it’s been in darkness and that means food reaching sell-by dates has had to be discarded too.

“I have lost a lot of business,” said Mr Mahmood. “It’s very, very bad for me.”

He’s been trading on the corner of The Crescent and Sheep Market for two-and-a-half years.

Nasza Biendronka had makeshift lighting in the shop today(Wednesday) and was open for business.

Firefighters making sure the blaze didn't spread to adjoining buildings. SG060616-122TW

Firefighters making sure the blaze didn't spread to adjoining buildings. SG060616-122TW

Charmed Interiors in Sheep Market, Abbey Recruitment and the next door Polish Education Centre were also back up and running today with limited power supplies for tills and computers as well as phones restored.

Charmed Interiors had lights but the other businesses were still waiting to have theirs restored.

Spalding Antiques boss John Mumford is working in his shop with ‘one little light’ and says he’s been told the whole, inter-connected building complex has to be rewired.

Mr Mumford understands that work could take a fortnight.

Firefighters with breathing apparatus to keep them safe in the smoke. SG060616-120TW

Firefighters with breathing apparatus to keep them safe in the smoke. SG060616-120TW

The antiques dealer says he can’t open his shop until the rewiring is completed because it’s too dark for customers to see their way around.

Western Power Distribution turned off the electricity supplies to the buildings from the street to allow firefighters to tackle the blaze in safety.

Electricians K A Goulden were on site on Tuesday and again today as work began on rewiring.

Polish Help Centre boss Diana Gajek said she had quit her former power supplier because they weren’t willing to come out quickly and she had switched to E.ON who had supplied a meter which all five businesses were using temporarily.

• The fire started in a first-floor storeroom above Abbey Recruitment where there were electricity meters for five businesses.

Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue said the cause was an electrical fault.

Firefighters removed tiles from the roof of Abbey Recruitment. SG060616-124TW

Firefighters removed tiles from the roof of Abbey Recruitment. SG060616-124TW

Staff from the Free Press and Spalding Guardian raised the alarm at 8.30am on Monday when smoke was seen coming from Abbey Recruitment’s slate roof.

Three fire engines were called in.

The Guardian office was evacuated and staff were allowed to return at 10.30am.

Abbey Recruitment rents space from the Polish Help Centre and their offices are connected by an interior door.

Ms Gajek said: “Someone rang me and said ‘did you know your offices are on fire?’. That was 9 o’clock and I was here by 9.30.”

There is fire and smoke damage to the first floor and roof.

Ms Gajek said there is a hole in the roof, which will let in water if it’s not fixed.

“There’s enough damage done but it could have been worse,” she said.

Darren Sutton, from Charmed Interiors, said on Tuesday that he was looking forward to reopening after being closed for two days.

Previously ...

SPALDING FIRE UPDATE: Firefighters to return to Abbey Recruitment this evening