Beccles business devastated by fire is back trading

Fire crews tackling the blaze at Bartram's pet store in Beccles. Photo: Ryan Lovejoy.

Fire crews tackling the blaze at Bartram's pet store in Beccles. Photo: Ryan Lovejoy. - Credit: Archant

A store in Beccles which was devastated by a fire earlier this year has started trading again thanks to a pitch on the market in the town centre.

Bartram’s Pet Food and Garden Store was forced to close it doors in June after fire swept through the roof area of the building in New Market.

The owners of the shop, who live in a property behind the business, were at home at the time of the incident and were helped to safety by fire crews. After weeks of preparation, the family opened a stall at last Friday’s market and will continue to do so for the forseeable future.

Nigel Bartram, the son of owner Ray Bartram, said: “So many people have asked us ‘are you going to open again’ and the answer is yes we are, but we have no idea of time scales, we just don’t know.

“We are in other people’s hands and there is a procedure.”

The cause of the fire is not known but the family has been told by the investigation team that there was no human error.

Mr Bartram senior said: “We would like to thank everyone who has given us practical and moral support during what has been a really difficult time.

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“The town council and the mayor have been great in helping us to get a market stall set up and all our neighbours have been terrific.”

There was no-one inside the shop at the time of the fire, but people from surrounding buildings had to be evacuated.

Properties on either side of the shop were unaffected by the fire but suffered some water damage.

Mr Bartram said: “We’ve been around for 90 years so we are an institution and the number of people who have sent cards, emails letters etc and offers of help and support has been fantastic.

“The damage is so intense because it was a major fire.

“What we want to do is get it cleared out, get it fitted out and get it reopened.

“But for the meantime, we are selling what we can at the Friday market.”

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