August 29 2014 Latest news:
by Janine Rasiah, Senior reporter
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Thieves risked their lives targeting the wreckage of a Goodmayes shop hours after it was destroyed by a huge fire.
The crooks took goods, including a flatscreen television, from the wreckage of CNM Domestic Appliances discount store, in Green Lane.
Cliff Mott, its owner of 25 years, was this week said to be devastated by Saturday’s fire, which caused major disruption in the area and saw six people evacuated from nearby flats.
The blaze gutted the single-storey workshop at the rear of Cliff’s store, as well as damaging the majority of stock inside the shop, but no one was injured.
Eighty-one firefighters in 12 fire engines battled the flames.
Shop manager Kevin Fleming said he wasn’t surprised thieves had targeted the store but added the culprits were “stupid” as several walls are at risk of collapse.
He has since boarded up the premises to prevent further thefts. He said: “We’ve just got to wait for the insurance people to come down and see it now.
“We had deliveries out the back and lots of stock out there and we’ve had to let a lot of people down because we can’t trade from anywhere else.”
Gary Schofield, 36, of Langdale Close, saw the fire through the blinds in his five-year-old son’s room. “The fire was huge and you could actually feel the heat coming through the windows, but the fire brigade arrived soon after,” he said. “There was so much smoke and I was quite worried because I suffer from asthma.”
Safder Awan, who works in the Express Dry Cleaners next door to CNM, had to replace the shutters of his shop after they were cut by firefighters who were trying to douse the fire. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.
Green Lane was closed to traffic for several hours.