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Fire drama at chip shop
9:15am Wednesday 19th September 2012 in News
A DEVASTATING fire has wrecked a Worcester fish and chip shop – causing traffic gridlock in the city.
The blaze engulfed the Seacrest Fish Bar in London Road at about 5.50pm yesterday evening, with eight fire engines called to tackle it.
During the drama fire crews rescued a cat and an iguana that were in the upstairs flat.
Crowds of onlookers watched as black smoke billowed into the air during the height of the fire, which started in the kitchen. Emergency services cordoned off London Road in both directions for two hours, causing chaos as commuters made their way home from work.
The gridlock was made worse by the roadworks at the A449 Worcester to Malvern Road.
Fire crews, who reopened London Road just before 8pm, were continuing their investigations last night but said nobody was hurt in the incident.
Onlooker Tim Rivers, aged 51, of Sebright Avenue, said: “It was unbelievable – I heard a commotion and suddenly all these fire engines appeared from nowhere. You could see all this black smoke coming out and people shouting.
It’s such a shame as the chippy is so popular.”
Councillor Jabba Riaz, who also witnessed the fire and owns a property just yards away from the chip shop, said: “It’s a great chippy and my heart goes out to them. It looked very bad to me, it had engulfed the building and you could see how it had spread.
“It’s devastating to see.”
Police and an ambulance crew also raced to the scene but there were no casualties as staff has already escaped from the building.
The flat above was empty apart from the animals, who were taken to safety by some of the firemen.
The cordon was placed at the junction of Seabright Avenue, but was extended to Sidbury just after 6pm as the tailbacks got worse.
Lengthy queues built up around the south of the city as motorists looked for other ways to get away from the area. Fire crews dealt with the blaze shortly after 6.25pm but spent the rest of the time dampening it down.
Dan Quinn, the incident commander, said: “We had eight engines and four hose reels in attendance, as well as police and ambulance, and we are just grateful nobody was hurt.
“The call came in at 5.52pm and it had started in the rear of the kitchen.
The crews did a great job.”