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'The place was full with stock' - business owner speaks about devastating fire

PUBLISHED: 13:46 02 April 2019 | UPDATED: 14:03 02 April 2019

Firefighters tackling the major blaze at the Rackheath Industrial Estate. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Firefighters tackling the major blaze at the Rackheath Industrial Estate. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Archant

A businessman whose premises was destroyed by a devastating fire hopes to return to Rackheath Industrial Estate in the coming months.

The fire damage at the Power Tool Services unit in Rackheath Industrial Estate, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodThe fire damage at the Power Tool Services unit in Rackheath Industrial Estate, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Trevor Nicholls said the unit, occupied by his company Power Tool Services, was full with stock when the fire broke out at the industrial estate last month.

Firefighters spent several hours trying to control the blaze, eventually leaving the scene at Earl Road more than 24 hours after it started.

Speaking one month on from the fire, Mr Nicholls said the fire had resulted in his business losing thousands of pounds.

He said: “The place was full with stock at the time. It was devastating.

The fire damage at the Power Tool Services unit in Rackheath Industrial Estate, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodThe fire damage at the Power Tool Services unit in Rackheath Industrial Estate, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

“But it is only a small business with five employees and so we are carrying on from home.

“We are recovering and we want to go back to the industrial estate.”

Norfolk County Council said an investigation is still ongoing into the cause of the March 3 fire.

A council spokesman said they were unable to comment any further.

Dozens of firefighters tackled a large blaze at Rackheath Industrial Estate on Sunday morning. Picture: Neil DidsburyDozens of firefighters tackled a large blaze at Rackheath Industrial Estate on Sunday morning. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Mr Nicholls said he did not know the full cost of the damage as the matter was being dealt with by insurers.

But he said returning to the industrial estate was a priority.

“We are hoping it will be a matter of weeks rather than months to get back there,” he said.

His business, which started in Norwich before moving to Rackheath, has been trading for 30 years. It provides power tool repairs and sales.

Locals were urged to close their windows and doors during the blaze at Rackheath Industrial Estate. Picture: Neil DidsburyLocals were urged to close their windows and doors during the blaze at Rackheath Industrial Estate. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Speaking at the scene of the blaze last month, King’s Lynn station manager Mac Mcleod said the Power Tool Services unit had collapsed in on itself.

He said while the unit had been completely destroyed, the adjoining property was saved.

It is understood the adjoining unit suffered smoke damage.

The fire also caused havoc for nearby businesses, including a snooker hall which was hosting a tournament at the time.

The 28 players taking part were forced to leave the premises due to a large amount of smoke coming from the fire.

Several businesses on the industrial estate were also left without power until the following day after it was cut off for safety reasons.

It resulted in one service centre, located opposite the fire-hit unit, sending staff home on the Monday.

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