Scratby Garden Centre reopens days after animals die in blaze

Scratby Garden Centre is closed following fire, July 17, 2016

Scratby Garden Centre is closed following fire, July 17, 2016 - Credit: Archant

Scratby Garden Centre reopened today following a fire which killed most of the animals inside it.

Scratby Garden Centre is closed following fire, July 17, 2016

Scratby Garden Centre is closed following fire, July 17, 2016 - Credit: Archant

It is business as normal for the owners of the garden centre, just three days after the devastating blaze.

Two dogs and a three ferrets were saved, but everything else located inside the centre died including rabbits, guinea pigs, fish, rodents, a parrot, an owl, budgies and cockatoos.

All the animals outside the centre including donkeys, racoons, pigs, horses and alpacas are all safe.

It is still uncertain as to what caused the fire. Owner Sandra Lawson said that straw outside the centre caught alight and that hopped onto the main garden centre building which she said was 'gutted' as a result.

Scratby Garden Centre fire

Scratby Garden Centre fire - Credit: Archant


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The building will have to be taken down in the next few months, but the owners aim to use the setback as a positive by improving the garden centre in the future.

On Friday six fire engines and more than 40 personnel tackled a fire in Scratby, on Beach Road, with thick black smoke seen rising as far as Thickthorn.

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Kai-Ann Hutchinson set up the Go Fund Me page wants to raise £500 for the owners. So far donations have reached £475.

On the fundraising page she said: 'This is a lovely business, with lovely owners who go out their way to help whenever they can.

Scratby Garden Centre fire

Scratby Garden Centre fire - Credit: Archant

'I thought it would be nice if we could rally together as a community in their time of need, to try to ease some of the immense pressure they will be under at such a stressful time.'

Scott Norman, station manager at Carrow, added: 'It was a very significant fire and there is a lot of damage.

'We did what we could to preserve as much of the building as we could.'

Fire appliances were called out at 3.10pm to the scene of the fire. Six crews from Yarmouth, Martham, Gorleston, Sprowston and Stalham were on the scene as well as police and ambulance crews.

Scratby Garden Centre fire

Scratby Garden Centre fire - Credit: Archant

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

Fire crews remained on scene until the later hours of the evening.

Fritz Schumpf, of Beach Road, said: 'I could smell the flames from my house. I went outside to see what was happening and I could see flames and really thick black smoke rising into the air. I went down there and was handed one of the cages with a ferret but there was lots of animals in there. Lots of rabbits, fish, birds, owls and more.'

Another resident, who wished not to be named, said that the fire was the 'saddest thing' she could ever remember in the village and feared that many animals had died.

A spokesperson from Norfolk Fire Service said: 'The incident is now closed.'

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