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Shop blaze tackled in Beccles

PUBLISHED: 13:40 08 September 2009 | UPDATED: 08:29 01 August 2010

ABOUT 30 firefighters tackled a blaze above a pizza restaurant in a historic part of Beccles yesterday.

Fire crews were called to the floor above the Ristorante Piatto at around 1.

ABOUT 30 firefighters tackled a blaze above a pizza restaurant in a historic part of Beccles yesterday.

Fire crews were called to the floor above the Ristorante Piatto at around 1.20pm and smoke was seen billowing out of the terraced building which is in the town's conservation area.

It is understood that the flat above the pizza restaurant is used by the Beccles branch of the Royal British Legion for storage. The charity has a shop next door to the restaurant in Smallgate.

Roads around the building were cordoned off and traffic diverted as firefighters fought to bring the blaze under control.

Luigi Norouzi, who owns Ristorante Piatto, said he had no idea how the fire had started and that it was too soon to estimate the extent of the damage.

Jitka Chbalova, who works at the pizza restaurant, and lives in an adjoining flat, said that firefighters had rescued her Yorkshire terrier Charlie from her home. “I had gone to Lowestoft when a friend called me about the fire. I immediately thought of my dog and told the charity shop to tell the firemen to get the dog out. The damage is really bad. It is a bit of a shock.”

Bystander Chris Hart, from Lowestoft, said the fire took hold quickly. He added: “I saw a firefighter push a door in and out came a little dog. He picked it up and put it in his cab. As soon as the firefighters burst the windows it seemed to exacerbate it. The damage is bad. It looks about ready to be pulled down.”

Fire crews got the blaze under control by about 3pm and then began damping down.

Chris Wallis, temporary station manager at Lowestoft fire station, said it was too soon to say what had caused the fire.

“When the first crews turned up there was a substantial fire in the front of the first floor of the property,” he said. “It quickly spread to the second floor including the roof void.

“It was difficult to access the roof void with breathing apparatus so we had to make an operational decision to deal with the incident from outside the building. There is quite substantial damage to the first floor and the roof.”

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