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Charity hit hard by fire

PUBLISHED: 09:00 11 September 2009 | UPDATED: 08:30 01 August 2010

CHARITY shop bosses appealed this week for help from people in Beccles after their stock went up in flames.

Fire broke out in store rooms used by the Royal British Legion on Monday, destroying thousands of pounds of clothing and bric-a-brac.

CHARITY shop bosses appealed this week for help from people in Beccles after their stock went up in flames.

Fire broke out in store rooms used by the Royal British Legion on Monday, destroying thousands of pounds of clothing and bric-a-brac.

Shop manager Jenny Baldwin later asked people to offer replacement stock and a temporary store.

The fire started on the first floor of a building belonging to Ristorante Piatto, in Smallgate, at 1.20pm. The legion uses it to keep stock ready for transfer to its shop next door.

Mrs Baldwin saw smoke billowing out from behind a clothes rail in the terraced building.

Thirty firefighters took two hours to bring the fire under control. A hydraulic platform from Great Yarmouth was called in after it spread to the second floor and the roof void.

Nearby roads were sealed off.

The firefighters rescued a Yorkshire terrier from the adjoining flat above the charity shop during the alert.

Mrs Baldwin said that both the first and second floors were packed with 600-700 items of autumn and winter clothing as well as Christmas decorat-ions. She added: “It looks like every-thing is fully destroyed, so we would be very grateful for any small donations from Monday onwards.

“We would also be very grateful for the offer of storage facilities on a short- term basis.

Around £12,000 from shop sales was given to last year's local Poppy Appeal to take the total up to £30,000.

As Luigi Norouzi, of Ristorante Piatto, battled to reopen his business, he said everything in the upstairs area of the premises would need to be renewed. The cost was still being assessed this week.

Police said the fire was started by a fault in the electrical supply.

Call the charity shop on 01502 713003, Mrs Baldwin on 01502 580194 or David Devereux of the legion on 07904 375421 if you can help with stock or storage.

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