Fire breaks out on the roof of Sudbury town centre store
PUBLISHED: 19:14 21 July 2018 | UPDATED: 19:19 22 July 2018
Sudbury town centre was brought to a virtual standstill as firefighters dealt with a blaze at a high street shop.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
“We are going to ventilate the property then carry out a full investigation,” he added.