Traders invited to drop-in session with council after Great Yarmouth blaze

The aftermath of a major fire which has destroyed the Regent Road superbowl and indoor market in the

The aftermath of a major fire which has destroyed the Regent Road superbowl and indoor market in the centre of Great Yarmouth.The view from the fire service crane.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

Hard-hit stallholders will tomorrow have a head-to-head with council chiefs as they bid to keep trading after the devastating Yarmouth fire.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council is inviting affected Regent Road traders to a drop in session which will take place at the Catalyst Centre, The Conge in the town centre.

It will run from 8am to noon and will be a chance for traders to discuss their needs and options to potential alternative locations.

Council leader Graham Plant said: 'We are working closely with a commercial property agent, as many of the properties suggested are privately owned, so they are out of the council's direct control.

'We are trying to find an appropriate solution which works within the timescales.'

Meanwhile chief fire investigators have ruled out arson as a possible cause of Friday's blaze at the Regent Superbowl and Indoor Market.

Jonathan Wilby, eastern district station manager for Norfolk Fire, has jointly led the investigation of the fire with Brian Walsh.

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He said that witness statements, CCTV footage and burglar alarm records from the building show the blaze was not caused deliberately.

Mr Wilby said: 'We have ideas of what possibly caused the fire but it would be wrong to say at this stage for definite.

'Demolition teams were in over the weekend so in terms of the investigation presently we are having to move the rubble out of the way and we are also having to think about brown asbestos.

'We are having to dampen that down to make sure that the asbestos fibres don't get into the atmosphere and there is very little chance of that happening now.'

Public safety has been identified as the council's top priority currently, and they are continuing to liase with both emergency services as well as owner, Phil Thompson, who is responsible for the site.

After discussions with the Health and Safety Executive, the council has required the property owner to put in place measures to ensure the site is as safe as possible.

Mr Thompson is required to install a more secure fence around the site, and has been delegated the responsibility of dampening down the rubble.

Mr Thompson said he has got a company in place to put a fence around the site but he has 'no idea' on how he will dampen down the site.