VIDEO: Shopkeepers survey the damage after huge Ilford Lane fire engulfs businesses
- Credit: Archant
Three shopkeepers who watched their businesses be completely gutted by fire in the early hours of this morning said they have been left heartbroken.
More than fifty firefighters were called out at 12.50am to tackle the fire which engulfed Chesters chicken shop, Durga Sweets and Future Training 4 Jobs in Ilford Lane, Ilford.
The owners of the sweet shop have built up their business for the last 30 years and said the fire had destroyed a piece of history.
Nitin Sharma, 47, who runs the business with his family, was woken up in the middle of the night and went straight to his shop where he watched crews work to save as much as possible.
He said: “There was so much smoke the firefighters could not see where the fire was actually coming from.
You may also want to watch:
“They had just finished putting it out and then it started up again.
“We are heartbroken.”
- 1 Consultation on proposed controlled parking zones to begin
- 2 More than 100 Covid dead at Queen's and King George this week
- 3 Double murder charge over stabbings, as police name victims
- 4 Redevelopment plans likely to be approved despite 144 objections
- 5 Two in five people in Redbridge may have had Covid, data shows
- 6 Covid outbreak at Woodford Green care home delays vaccinations
- 7 Council left homeless family 'stuck in cycle of instability', report finds
- 8 GPs roll up their sleeves to support colleagues at Queen's Hospital
- 9 CCTV still issued of man sought in 'vicious and unprovoked' attack in broad daylight in Barkingside supermarket
- 10 Royal Mail lists six Redbridge postcodes hit by Covid postal delays
The fire started in the basement of Chesters chicken shop and spread to the training centre above it and to the adjacent bakery, Durga Sweets.
Ten people were evacuated from flats above the shops before the fire crews arrived and no injuries were reported.
Mr Patel and his family had made five tonnes of sweets in preparation for Raksha Bandhan a Hindu festival celebrating siblings. It is the second busiest day of the year for the shop and the family had spent the whole weekend working flat out to ensure the thousands of sweets were ready.
Mr Patel said: “There’s nothing we can retail at all so we will just have to see what we can do and take stock of what happened. We can’t do anything else.”
His brother-in-law Sanjeev Patel, 35, runs the Future Training 4 Jobs centre above the chicken shop and said they had lost thousands of certificates and documents in the blaze.
He said: “My niece called me at about 2am and said the shop was on fire. I thought she was joking at first.
“It’s just heartbreaking. I think it started in the basement of Chesters and then travelled up the wall cavity.”
The roof of the chicken shop was completely destroyed and the fire ripped through the training centre above.
Mr Sharma said: “I cannot even describe what it’s like inside. The fire crews did a brilliant job. They saved as much as they could.
“The sweet shop has been there for 30 years. It’s like a piece of history going away.”