Friday, August 17, 2007

BREAKING NEWS: Fire crews tackle biggest Deepings blaze...

A row of at least four shops in the centre of Deeping St James has been destroyed this morning in the biggest blaze seen in the Deepings for at least a generation...

Fire crews were called to The Bridal Centre just after 8.30 this morning, but the fire quickly spread along the row of shops.

The Bridal Centre, next door Fabric Shop, HopScotch kiddies clothes shop and the men's barbers all appear gutted.

The picture frame shop on the end of the row appears less damaged at first sight.

Half a dozen fire tenders and 20 fire-fighters are trying to get the blaze under control.

It is not believed that anyone has been injured.

Police have cordoned off the centre of Deeping St James from the Godsey Lane roundabout to the old bridge at The Bell. Spalding Road is closed from Deepings School...

Emergency services are keeping people well away from the blaze as they are concerned as the danger of chemicals in the acrid smoke.

Fire crews have mentioned the possibility that asbestos may be involved. I'd be surprised if this were true as the entire row of shops was rebuilt by local businessman Terry Wright about ten or so years ago.

It is believed Terry Wright still owns the row of shops which he vacated about five years ago when he moved Terry Wright Cycles across the road to the former Ford car showrooms.

A number of local families have seen years of hard work investing in small businesses go up in flames this morning. My thoughts are with them.


The site of the blaze is the former Todd's Garage which closed about 25 years ago.

Terry Wright took over the Todd's site and moved from the former Coop across the road, which was then used as the Coop dairy and I recall is now a funeral home.

Terry Wright's has become a nationally known specialist cycle shop as it has grown and grown.

Terry opened his first shop as a young man in the 1970s in the former Cross Brothers Drapery in Church Street, Deeping St James - the house where I have lived with my family since 1983.


The Deepings blaze started hours after a much bigger overnight blaze in the centre of Skegness which has destroyed much of the tourist-based business sector on Grand Parade including amusement arcades and local shops. See BBC Lincolnshire report.

It's reassuring to know that despite having 100 fire-fighters tackling the Skegness blaze, half a dozen fire engines and 20 fire-fighters responded to the Deepings call within minutes.


There's bound to be a lot of heartache and tears as a result of the Deepings blaze which gutted a parade of shops.

A number of people have seen years of hard work and investment in building up a local family business literally go up in flames in a few minutes.

There will also be consequences for many of their customers.

The Bridal Shop will have dozens of wedding outfits in store for brides, bridesmaids and grooms for upcoming weddings.

And the photographers will have wedding photos from recent ceremonies.

But people are more precious than possessions and at least it appears no-one has been injured...

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