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Cabinet makers devastated after suspected lightning strike destroys their workshop

PUBLISHED: 09:43 24 July 2019 | UPDATED: 09:10 25 July 2019

The fire at Miller and Rackham's cabinet workshop in Woodbastwick. Pic: Hayley Moss.

The fire at Miller and Rackham's cabinet workshop in Woodbastwick. Pic: Hayley Moss.

Hayley Moss

The owners of a cabinet making workshop have said they are 'devastated' after it was destroyed in a blaze, believed to have been started by a lightning strike.

The Woodbastwick workshop of Rackham and Miller cabinet makers was destroyed. Pic: Dan Grimmer.The Woodbastwick workshop of Rackham and Miller cabinet makers was destroyed. Pic: Dan Grimmer.

Emergency services were called to the barn fire at Miller and Rackham, in Salhouse Road, Woodbastwick, at just before 4.30am on Wednesday (July 24).

The flames ripped through the thatched roofed workshop, which is owned by Julian Miller and Daniel Rackham, in the early hours.

While firefighters managed to douse the flames, the timber-framed building and many of the tools inside have been destroyed.

The fire at Miller and Rackham's cabinet workshop in Woodbastwick. Pic: Hayley Moss.The fire at Miller and Rackham's cabinet workshop in Woodbastwick. Pic: Hayley Moss.

The brick wall at the back of the barn was the only section of the workshop which was still standing - and firefighters stopped the blaze from spreading to a second barn on the site, which is owned by the Woodbastwick Estate.

Mr Miller, who was at the still smouldering remains of his workshop this morning, said: "It's devastating. That was our workshop, where we've been based for about nine years, and it's gone. I'm 99pc certain it was a lightning strike.

"I got a call at about 4.30am saying that the workshop was on fire. It was a thatched roof, so it went up pretty quickly.

The Woodbastwick workshop of Rackham and Miller cabinet makers was destroyed. Pic: Dan Grimmer.The Woodbastwick workshop of Rackham and Miller cabinet makers was destroyed. Pic: Dan Grimmer.

"I have had some of those tools in there since I was 16 years old. Some of them have been in use for 25 to 35 years."

Mr Rackham said they would have lost even more tools had they not currently been working on a job at another site.

He said: "We're fortunate that we've still got some of the electrical tools, as we've been taking them home with us."

Emergency services were called to the barn fire at Miller and Rackham, in Salhouse Road, Woodbastwick, at just before 4.30am on Wednesday (July 24). Picture: Elliot HEmergency services were called to the barn fire at Miller and Rackham, in Salhouse Road, Woodbastwick, at just before 4.30am on Wednesday (July 24). Picture: Elliot H

The company specialises in bespoke furniture, fitted furniture, wooden windows, stairs, oak framed porches and joinery.

Crews from Wroxham, Sprowston, Carrow and Earlham were called to tackle the fire, used hose reel jets to put out the fire. The last crew had left the scene at just before 7am.

- Anybody who can offer any help to Miller and Rackham as they recover from the fire, should email jdm05@hotmail.co.uk

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