Quick thinking and decisive action by firefighters stopped a blaze that took hold in a Falmouth store on Sunday from spreading dangerously to neighbouring buildings.
Firefighters from Falmouth, Redruth and Helston were called out to the fire at the rear of the frozen yogurt store Skoosh on Market Strand just after 7pm.
A support vehicle from St Just and an aerial ladder platform from Truro were also drafted in to help tackle the flames. At one stage there were six fire appliance and four specialist vehicles at the scene as crews battled the blaze via the narrow alley at the rear of the building.
A fire service spokesman said crews used four sets of breathing equipment and had two jets in operation, as well as a heat seeking camera, as crews fought to stop the flames spreading to neighbouring properties and to rooms above the shop.
Paying tribute to the crews, Falmouth Fire Station manager Ray Dawe said that there was really good work to contain the fire by the first responders at the scene.
“There are nine separate roofs at the rear of the property, and the flat felt roof that was on fire goes under the lead flashing towards the old Burger King. We did not know whether it had spread into that area.”
He added that the only way to the rooms above the store was across the burning flat roof, however the firefighters had to gain access to check these for people trapped by the flames.
Ray added: “The fire certainly had the potential to go in many different directions, the problem was that with so many extensions to the building, there are many void spaces and the flames could spread undetected.”
No-one was injured in the fire, with initial reports suggesting was caused by electrical fault.
Despite the efforts to contain the blaze, the owner of the frozen yoghurt shop Skoosh has been left counting the cost of the fire.
The main body of the shop suffered extensive smoke damage, with the store windows blackened, and smoke black streaks were left running down the once colourful walls.
Owner of Skoosh, Drew Milne, interviewed amongst the disheartening mess left by the fire, said the store would be closed while the damage is assessed, and a clean-up takes place.
”I would like to say that we will be open again in a couple of weeks, but we need the experts to have a look,” he said.
Staff from Richfords Fire and Flood, which specialise in the restoration of properties damaged by fire, smoke and water were at the store on Monday.
According to Mr Milne, the fire took hold in the roof space above the stock room at the rear, which was full of cups, dry foodstuffs, wooden shelves and other flammable items that quickly started to burn.
The structural integrity at the rear of the store and the building’s electrics will also need checked before it reopens.
Mr Milne said that while it would be easy to just see the bad side, the way customers and the community rallied round with support and kind words, was something he really appreciated.
“Falmouth is a fantastic town, and although I am not a Falmouthian, the response has has really helped me look on the bright side, rather than focus on the negative.”
The store only opened its doors in May of this year.