Barrow shop blaze drama
Last updated at 14:49, Monday, 31 December 2012
A PANTOMIME audience had to be evacuated from the theatre after a fire broke out in an adjacent Barrow charity shop.
Firefighters and police were called to the British Heart Foundation shop in Portland Walk at 5.45pm on Saturday after a fire started inside the building.
The Red Riding Hood panto which was being performed in The Forum had to be cancelled for safety reasons due to the smell which spread to the building.
A spokeswoman for The Forum said the theatre was around half-full and all customers were offered the chance to watch the show again yesterday (Sun) for no extra charge.
Evening Mail columnist Darren McSweeney was one of the first on the scene.
He said: “All the shop windows were blackened and smoke was pouring from the shop door and above the windows.
“Within minutes, smoke was billowing from the eaves of the two-storey building roof.
“The heat from the windows at the groundfloor was intense and the fire crews immediately evacuated the area due to fears of exploding glass.
“The building is full of electrical items such as televisions and furnishings, three-piece suites and dining tables.
“In the absence of the keyholder, fire crews gained access using a sledgehammer to break down the door to the store, but the amount of acrid smoke prevented crews from entering immediately.”
Fire station manager Al Maguire said the fire was not being treated as arson and an electrical fault was one possibility.
He said: “It’s under investigation at the moment, but it’s not thought to be malicious.
“It’s done quite an amount of damage to the stock.
“There’s the direct burning on the groundfloor, but with the type of items in that shop, it’s also produced a lot of smoke and heat which has spread to the upstairs and caused smoke damage.”
Mr Maguire said the majority of the stock downstairs was “severely damaged”.
Trudy Warburton, area manager for the British Heart Foundation, was at the scene in the aftermath of the fire as she waited for a glazier to arrive and board up the shopfront.
Ms Warburton said: “We’re just trying to determine what the cause of the fire was and then there’ll be a big clean-up operation.
“We are going to be in urgent need of donated stock from the general public.
“Luckily, somebody quickly alerted the fire brigade to the fact there was a fire, so that has thankfully helped minimise the damage and we’re very grateful for that.”
First published at 14:45, Monday, 31 December 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
if my memory serves me correctly this is not the first time there has been a fire in this unit there was a fire when Peacocks had it so maybe the Electrics need checking
Make your comment
- Barrow firm hosts successful recruitment fair
- Spare cash on rise in West Cumbria
- Road blocks due to fallen trees in Cumbria
- Emergency services deal with A590 crash
- New assistant chief constable for Cumbria
- Electricity North West "on hand" after Met Office strong wind warning for Cumbria
- Barrow man remanded after court appearance charged with attempted wounding
- Man who came off motocross bike at high speed in Cumbria in 'critical' condition
- BOUQUET: ‘So proud’ Isabel waves goodbye after 24 years of dedicated work at school
- Murder probe latest: Tributes made to 'family man' killed in Cumbria
- Barrow Raiders claw victory at Bears
- Barrow Raiders brush Bears aside
- Theo makes trip very worthwhile
- Wheelbase crew happy to hang in there with elite riders
- Second spot ‘like winning the lottery’ for Bjergfelt
- Clancy happy to see Tour come back to Barrow
- Chris lays down the Law
- Millom ace Hawdon hails 'brilliant' Barrow Tour Series
- North Walney better than South Walney - it's official: with picture gallery
- Magnificent seven for Dalton
- WEDDING ALBUM: Gemma Jones and Craig Brown
- Let’s unite and take on fight together
- Party time as association marks 70 years at building
- Life at war in new exhibition
- Life lost in winning top gallantry medal
- Ways found to make food supply last out
- Eyes down for Car Boot Bingo
- Tough time for trading
- More names found for the 1946 workers
- Store visit reward was a bag of dolly mixture