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Fire-hit charity shop could be shut for months as police probe double arson

PUBLISHED: 12:04 18 September 2019 | UPDATED: 16:08 18 September 2019

The Break shop in Cromer Road was closed after the fire. Pic: Dan Grimmer.

The Break shop in Cromer Road was closed after the fire. Pic: Dan Grimmer.

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Bosses at a fire-hit charity shop say it could be closed for months, as police treat two blazes in the same street as a double arson.

Police outside the Cromer Road property affected by fire. Pic: Dan Grimmer.Police outside the Cromer Road property affected by fire. Pic: Dan Grimmer.

Fire crews were called to the Break charity shop, in Cromer Road, Hellesdon, at just before 1.40am on Wednesday (September 18).

A spokesman for Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service said a crew from Sprowston tackled a "fully-developed" fire.

Crews, wearing breathing equipment, used hose reel jets and ladders to fight the flames and had put them out by 3.25am.

Thermal imaging cameras were also used to identify hot spots.

Norfolk police are treating the blaze as arson.

They said a member of public had reported the fire to patrolling officers, saying it had started at the back of the shop before spreading.

The area around the shop was yesterday sealed off with blue and white police tape, while the entrance door was boarded up.

Tracey McManus, from Break, said: "It is going to be closed for weeks, if not months.

"I know a full investigation is going on to determine how the fire was started.

"The next step is to establish the damage has been caused and to do what we can to get the shop open again.

"We are just glad that nobody was in there at the time.

"In the meantime, we would ask people to make their donations to the other shops which we have around Norwich."

Police are investigating whether the fire at the Break shop is linked to another on the opposite side of Cromer Road, a few hundred yards down the road.

Firefighters went to a blaze in an outbuilding at an empty home there at just after 3.30am.

Crews from Sprowston and Earlham used breathing equipment, water jets and the thermal imaging camera to fight the fire, with Cromer Road closed as they tackled it.

That fire was out by just before 4.45am. The timbers of the building, which was sealed off with red and white tape, were still smouldering slightly yesterday morning.

Nobody was in either building and nobody was hurt.

Anyone with information should call Norfolk police on 101 quoting incident reference numbers 19 and 27 of September 18. People can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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