Fire destroys antiques shop

AN antiques shop in a Suffolk village was in ruins last night after a raging fire caused the two-story building to crash to the ground.The owners of four flats situated directly above the shop in Back Street, Lakenheath, were not at home when the flames took hold at around 7.

AN antiques shop in a Suffolk village was in ruins last night after a raging fire caused the two-story building to crash to the ground.

The owners of four flats situated directly above the shop in Back Street, Lakenheath, were not at home when the flames took hold at around 7.30pm.

The area was cordoned off as crews from Methwold, Brandon, Mildenhall, Bury St Edmunds and Lakenheath battled to extinguish the fire, which was brought under control at just after 9.30pm.

Divisional officer John Wilcock, of Suffolk Fire Service, said attempts to salvage antiques from the shop had been abandoned when the situation became too dangerous.


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“We were advised by a building control officer that the building was unstable, so all the crews had left the shop and were fighting the fire from a distance when the first floor collapsed,” he said.

The turntable ladder from Bury was used to propel water into the building, which has been left completely “devastated” as a result of the fire.

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One resident of the flats above the shop, who returned home to find the building on fire, was being comforted at the scene by the Red Cross.

Mr Wilcock said: “Unfortunately we were not able to get into the building to take any action when the first floor collapsed into the ground floor as it was just too dangerous.

“Luckily the lady who lived in the adjoining property was also not at home at the time of the fire so we did not have to evacuate anyone, and the house on the other side of the antiques shop was derelict.”

An investigation will now be launched to determine the cause of the fire.

A spokeswoman for the nearby Plough pub said she had smelt burning and had called the fire brigade after spotting the flames.

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