31 Jul Hemsby fire: Business owner’s shock as premises is “smoked out”
More than 50 firefighters were called to a chip shop blaze in Hemsby this afternoon.
Crews from across the county have been called to the fire, which has torn through businesses in Beach Road.
The commercial building, situated opposite Caesars amusements, caught alight just before 1pm.
The blaze started in a deep fat fryer within a fish and chip shop. Staff attempted to tackle the fire as they were trained to, but were unable to put it out. Members of the public at the scene say the business was only recently refurbished.
Mike Fish is one of the owners of the Norfolk Sausage Company, one of the businesses in the block where the fire broke out.
“We only moved into Beach Road at Easter after being flooded out of our old property,” he said. “Now we’ve been smoked out of this one.”
“We’ve just had a soft launch so we were all stocked up, but because all our stock is in fridges and the power is off, I don’t know what will happen.”
Holidaymakers said they saw thick black smoke pouring from the premises and heard loud explosions, before the roof of the building collapsed.
Lisa Hunter, 31, from Leicestershire, only arrived in Hemsby this morning for a break with her family.
She said: “My son said ‘I think they’re having a barbeque out there’, we looked out and heard a massive bang, and then there was thick, black smoke everywhere.
“We had only been back from the beach for ten minutes.”
Eyewitness Nick Eagle, who is in Hemsby to celebrate his 26th birthday, said: “It started off with smoke and a small crowd gathered. The fire brigade were informed very quickly. It spread pretty quickly. Flames were coming out of the roof.”
Mr Eagle said the roof collapsed soon after the fire broke out.
Fire crews from Great Yarmouth, Gorleston, Earlham, Stalham, Sprowston and Lowestoft, together with an aerial ladder platform were called, and police also attended to help with crowd control.
The electricity board arrived at the scene just before 3pm to isolate the mains supply so crews could then begin tackling the fire inside.
A spokesman for the fire service said that at around 3.45pm operations at the scene were starting to cool down, but advised firefighters would be on scene for some time, and Beach Road was likely to be closed until this evening with a cordon remaining overnight.
Incident Commander Martin Harris said: “By the time the fire service arrived the fire was well established and flames were coming through the roof.”
Mr Harris said of the five businesses within the block, crews were able to save three from the flames.
Businesses along Beach Road should be able to reopen tomorrow morning.
this news story was provided by great yarmouth mercury