The owners of a Bexhill cafe are ‘heartbroken’ after a fire ripped through their business in the early hours of Saturday morning (March 12).
Caffe Martini’s kitchen was completely destroyed by the supposed electrical fire at around 12.30am but luckily it did not spread too far.
Nonetheless, owners Danielle and Nino Martinaj have been left with a massive clean-up job and are waiting for the insurance company to visit to find out the extent of the damage.
The mother-of-three said they hope to get back on their feet as soon as possible but had no clue how long it will take.
“We’re just absolutely gutted, both the cafe and us,” she said.
“We were just starting to do quite well and becoming more popular.
“Obviously we want to get up and running again but we just don’t know how long it will take.”
The couple were alerted to the fire after a neighbour knocked on their door on Windsor Road at around 1am.
Two East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service appliances from Bexhill were at the Terminus Road cafe with crews wearing breathing apparatus using two hose reels to tackle the fire.
Once the firefighters had left, Danielle realised the damage was worse than she expected.
“I think there’s quite a bit of work to be done but the restaurant area is mainly smoke and water damage,” she said.
“Whatever we do everything needs to be gutted because of the damage.
“The walls need redecorating and to be stripped back.”
Fortunately they also run the Dazzle Car Wash so they still have some income, but the amount they have spent on the cafe makes it no easier to take.
“It’s devastating especially as we’ve not even been open a year yet,” she said.
“We’ve ploughed everything into this and it’s heartbreaking for us.
“We’ve taken it from what it was before to something completely different and spent a lot of money on it.”
The support from the community since the fire has overwhelmed the pair.
Danielle said she has been inundated with messages of support and offers to help from lots of people online, both friends and strangers.
She thanked everyone for their solidarity and hoped they would come to their aid when the time comes.
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