Beccles shop owner praises local community after fire sweeps through Bartram’s pet store

Fire caused major damage to Bartram's Pet and Garden store, Beccles in 2015.

Fire caused major damage to Bartram's Pet and Garden store, Beccles in 2015. - Credit: Nick Butcher

A pet shop owner has thanked the local community for their help after fire swept through the family business.

Firefighters from Beccles and Lowestoft South were called to Bartram's pet food and garden store in Beccles at around 10pm last night to reports of a roof fire.

Additional appliances were called from Bungay, Lowestoft North, Loddon with an aerial ladder platform called from Norwich to tackle the blaze On New Market.

Neighbours and friends of the shop's owners turned out to help in any way they could and the Salvation Army was on hand to offer hot drinks and support.

Owner Ray Bartram said: 'The whole Bartram family would like to thank everyone who gave us a hand especially the fire crews, they were brilliant.


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'We'd like to also thank everyone who has offered to help us.'

Mr Bartram's son Nigel said: 'That's Beccles for you, that's how it works.'

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

The owners of the shop, who live in a property behind the business, were at home at the time of the blaze and were helped to safety by fire crews unhurt.

Watch commander Tim Bray from Beccles fire station said: 'We are carrying out a fire investigation at the property and the cause of the fire is not yet known.'

Bartram's pet food and garden store has been open in the town since 1934.

Tropical fish were in the shop at the time of the fire but were unhurt in the blaze.

Mrs Lewis, a customer of the shop for 20 years, said: 'It is a great shame. It is a great shop, they always have what I want.'

Fire crews attended the scene until 4am this morning and returned again at 8am to carry out their investigations.

Mayor of Beccles Hugh Taylor said: 'I think the fire brigade did an amazing job. It is a huge relief that no one was hurt.

'Bartram's is one of the oldest buildings in Beccles.'

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

Owner of neighbouring Saxon Alternative Therapy Centre, Christine Pinsent, said: 'It was a shock to see the flames coming out of the roof.

'It's an awful end to what's been going on in Beccles this week.'

Residents took to Twitter after the fire broke out in their town.

Stephen Brown tweeted: 'A gunman, a tragic death and now a fire all in three days. It is a sad time for Beccles.'

Did you see the fire? Email kate.royall@archant.co.uk

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