The sole supermarket serving the community of Holt, Norfolk has been razed to the ground by fire.
Fire crews were called out to the Budgens on Kerridge Way after the building was entirely overwhelmed by flames with smoke seen from over 10 miles away. Police on site dispersed crowds gathered in the store car park and nearby streets for their own safety.
While the property was vacant and no one was injured in the blaze, CT Baker Group, which runs the supermarket, is reportedly “utterly heartbroken.”
CT Baker’s Jane Gurney-Read, commented:
“It has been an enormous shock for our team who have always given so much to the local community and have worked tirelessly during the lockdown.”
For 35 years the business has been an important employer for the town and in recent months customers described it as a “lifeline” in the COVID-19 crisis. A launderette and post office were also located within the premises.
To avoid loss of life and property, it is vital that all owners of commercial properties complete a comprehensive fire safety risk assessment. This process may involve the installation of firefighting equipment and preventative devices such as extinguishers, detectors and alarms. Retailers booking a fire alarm fitter in Chester, Holt or other places around the UK should only use a certified contractor to perform the installation to ensure it meets regulations.
CT Baker has announced it is now working alongside local council and the Chamber of Trade to make certain vulnerable customers still received support.
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.