Staff devastated after fire destroys furniture warehouse

By Dan Santy Thursday 08 November 2012 Updated: 08/11 11:03

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Buy photos » Let's Buy Furniture's warehouse on Somers Road was the scene of a huge fire at the weekend. Picture courtesy of Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service. (s)

A FURNITURE warehouse manager has spoken of her devastation after watching as a huge fire destroyed the building and everything in it.

Pam Belfield could only stand and watch as the blaze ripped through Let's Buy Furniture's store on the Somers Road industrial estate in the early hours of Sunday (November 5).

The discount furniture store caught fire at around 9.30pm. Police are treating the fire as suspicious and think it could have been started deliberately.

By the time Ms Belfield arrived after midnight, the flames had taken hold and destroyed most of the building, along with all of the stock and company records held inside.

Speaking to the Observer, Ms Belfield said: "The place is just a shell now. Everything inside has been destroyed - there's absolutely nothing left.

"It's very raw for us at the moment. We've lost everything in there - the building, our stock, and all our records.

"It's our income source that's been destroyed in there, so we're very upset.

"We went into liquidation in February and were building things back up nicely and getting people's confidence in us back, so we're devastated."

Let's Buy Furniture is owned by Chris Edmunds, who was too distressed to comment after the fire.

The business is fully insured, meaning outstanding orders will be honoured, but tracing customers could be a difficult task because the firm's records were all burned in the fire.

Ms Belfield said: "We don't want to cause any distress to our customers. Those we have spoken to so far have been sympathetic.

"We've never experienced anything like it before, so it's hard to know what we should be doing.

"Chris is really struggling to take it all in at the moment."

It took six fire engines several hours to put out the blaze.

Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service said firefighters were working against the risk of ammunition in the neighbouring Norman Clark Gunsmiths factory setting alight.

The last fire engine left the scene at around 6am on Sunday - nearly nine hours after the fire was first reported.

Crews had to use a rescue platform so they could put out the fire from above the warehouse.

Ms Belfield said the back of the warehouse was easily accessible but added it was covered by CCTV, and police had taken the tapes to study for possible evidence.

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Buy photos» Police cordoned off the site of the blaze while they investigated. 45.012.019.rug.jm2

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