Family run business in Scratby back in the swing of things following fire

Scratby Garden Centre six months on from fire. Owner Sarah Lawson with her daughter Charlotte

Scratby Garden Centre six months on from fire. Owner Sarah Lawson with her daughter Charlotte - Credit: Archant

The owner of a family run garden centre has thanked locals for their support, after a devastating fire engulfed its building six months ago.

Scratby Garden Centre is back up and running but the blaze will live forever in the memories of the Lawson family.

Their insurance was able to cover the costs of repairing the facility, but pets including birds and fish were killed in the inferno.

Other animals were saved by people who bravely ran into the burning building. They were looked after initially by locals, while £500 was raised through an online donation page.

The owner Sarah Lawson said: 'We just want to thank everybody for the support we have received throughout the whole ordeal which has been fantastic.

'The £500 went towards vet costs and putting the animals into new enclosures.

'It was a horrendous and incredibly stressful time. We were glad no one got hurt and that some of the animals were rescued.

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'But you can't just remove something like that from your mind - the fire will always live long in our memories.

'We don't plan on bringing any pets back into the centre as you just can't replace them.'

Six fire engines and more than 40 personnel tackled the blazed which erupted at around 3pm on Friday, July 15, with the thick, black smoke being seen rising several miles away.

Nobody required any treatment as a result of the flames, though two people went into the building to try to put the fire out before the crews arrived and rescue as many animals as they could.

A dog, ferrets and rabbits were saved from within the building, while all the animals outside the centre including donkeys, raccoons, pigs, horses and alpacas were all safe.

A Norfolk Fire spokesperson said at the time it was an accidental fire likely to be caused from a nearby bonfire.

The garden centre reopened three days later selling a small quantity of plants, but the building itself was inaccessible until it reopened in November.

Sarah said: 'It has been a slow start as we try and let people know we are back up and running, but we are glad to be at full operation again.

The garden centre is located on Beach Road and sells animal feed, toys, DIY equipment, plants and much more.

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