Owner of East Huntspill shop describes seeing his garage go up in flames (From This is The West Country)
Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting COUNTY GAZETTE to 80360 or email us
Owner of East Huntspill shop describes seeing his garage go up in flames
THE OWNER of a popular village shop in East Huntspill has described his “shock and amazement” at seeing his garage and two cars go up in flames.
Keith Balch, who lives above his Crown Stores shop in Church Road, was first alerted to the huge blaze on Sunday evening when he heard a loud bang.
He said: “I had family visiting at the time and we heard a huge noise, which I presume was the sound of the tyres exploding.
“When we saw the fire it was just shock and amazement at what was happening. We called the fire service immediately.
“The garage has been completely burnt out. The fire caused total devastation to the building. Luckily, the garage is detached from the main store building so the fire has not damaged that.”
Three fire crews from Burnham and Bridgwater were called, along with a water carrier from Bridgwater.
A fire service spokesman said: “On arrival crews discovered a store and garage well alight. This was with two vehicles in the garage and several cylinders that were also removed prior to arrival of the Fire Service.
“Crews used four breathing apparatus, two hose reels, one main jet and one compressed air foam jet to extinguish the fire.
“The garage was 100% damaged by fire and asbestos minor was involved.”
An investigation into the cause of the fire was still underway at the time the Weekly News went to press but it was believed to have been accidental.
Keith was taken away by an ambulance after tripping over debris at the scene while trying to help but no-one was injured as a result of the fire.
Keith, 58, added: “I’m not sure how much it will take to repair the damage but a double garage is not cheap to replace, not to mention the cars, one of which was just becoming vintage.
“I have had great support from customers, who have been offering to help in any way they can, and I’d like to thank them.
“Crown Stores has been established since 1950 and it would have been a shame to have lost that too.”