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Fire breaks out on the roof of Sudbury town centre store

PUBLISHED: 19:14 21 July 2018 | UPDATED: 19:19 22 July 2018

Smoke could be seen from some miles away as the flames grew but staff in the store quickly evacuated customers Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Smoke could be seen from some miles away as the flames grew but staff in the store quickly evacuated customers Picture: CONTRIBUTED

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Sudbury town centre was brought to a virtual standstill as firefighters dealt with a blaze at a high street shop.

Fire engines at the scene of the fire at Peacocks in North Street, Sudbury Picture: RUSSELL COOKFire engines at the scene of the fire at Peacocks in North Street, Sudbury Picture: RUSSELL COOK

Crews were called shortly before 3.30pm today with reports of a fire on the roof at Peacocks, on North Street.

A total of four fire engines with two from Sudbury and one each from Colchester, Halstead and Long Melford were called to the scene along with police and ambulances from the East of England Ambulance Service.

A section of North Street was closed and one lane was left open in Girling Street – which runs behind the shop.

Fire breaks out on the roof of Sudbury town centre store Picture: CONTRIBUTEDFire breaks out on the roof of Sudbury town centre store Picture: CONTRIBUTED

But traffic built up with some people experiencing long delays as the town became gridlocked.

Smoke could be seen from some miles away as the flames grew but staff in the store quickly evacuated customers.

Thankfully nobody was hurt and staff at Peacocks praised the alterness of PCSO Jamie Fudge who rushed into the store to tell them that the fire had broken out.

Manageress Sandra Buffoni said: “James was really good and so helpful to us all.

“He was really calm when he came in to say the fire had started. We had about half a dozen customers in the shop and and we managed to get them out quite quickly and they were very good.”

She and her three members of staff were also set to evaluate the damage as some of the flames seeped into the ground floor of the shop.

North Street, one of Sudbury's main shopping streets, was cordoned off by police today after a fire broke out in Peacocks clothing store Picture: ROSS BENTLEYNorth Street, one of Sudbury's main shopping streets, was cordoned off by police today after a fire broke out in Peacocks clothing store Picture: ROSS BENTLEY

“The fire alarm went off as soon as James came into the store so we had to work quite quickly,” she added.

PCSO Fudge said: “I was just in the street out and about when I spotted the fire.

“I went into the shop and told them about it and they worked to get the customers out into the street.”

Fire engines at the scene Picture: RUSSELL COOKFire engines at the scene Picture: RUSSELL COOK

Conrad Burgess, the command support officer for the Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, said the potential cause of the blaze was an air conditioning unit on the roof.

It effected 10m x 30m of the roof area and fire officers were carrying out an investigation in a bid to find the direct cause of the blaze.

“At the moment we are still investigating the cause of the fire but it looks like potentially that it may be the air conditioning unit.

Smoke visable from the Peacock Fire on NorthStreet at Sudbury Cricket Ground Picture: ALAN COCKSEDGESmoke visable from the Peacock Fire on NorthStreet at Sudbury Cricket Ground Picture: ALAN COCKSEDGE

“We are going to ventilate the property then carry out a full investigation,” he added.

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