Fire crews attend bookshop blaze


Emergency services were called to a major fire at Camilla’s Bookshop on Grove Road in Eastbourne, East Sussex. The blaze attacked the three-floor building, causing extensive damage to the commercial premises after starting at ground level.

Three appliances with crews were dispatched to tackle the fire after it was called in at 11:24pm on March 25. A spokesman for the fire services confirmed that crews protected by breathing apparatus fought back the flames using a main jet backed up by two separate hose reels.

The shop has been owned by Stuart Broad and Camilla Francome since 1985. Broad commented:

“We have so many regular customers and many famous faces too. It is almost like a recycling service in as much as the books that people bring into us are then handed on to the next generation rather than end up in landfill.”

Owners of commercial properties are legally required to perform a fire risk assessment to safeguard employees and property. This process may result in the necessary installation of smoke and fire alarms systems on the premises. Businesses employing the services of a smoker or fire alarm fitter in Chester, Eastbourne or other UK locations should always ensure the task is performed by a qualified professional.

No one was injured in the incident, including the bookshop’s Amazon parrot Archie – a much-loved character at the place of business.

Following investigation, Sussex Police have now arrested an Eastbourne man on suspicion of arson who has been released until April 23 on conditional bail.

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