East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is issuing safety advice to businesses following a serious fire outside a kitchen firm in Sidley earlier this month.
The blaze broke out in a doorway of R&R Kitchens in Ninfield Road, Sidley, just after 12.30am on April 5, causing considerable damage to the shop.
The smoke spread to an upstairs flat, but luckily the occupant was away on the night of the fire.
Following an investigation, firefighters have confirmed the fire was started deliberately by someone setting fire to a bin outside the doorway to the business.
Now the fire service has issued a warning to other businesses not to leave combustible materials close to premises, which could pose a fire hazard.
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service business safety manager, Mark Hobbs, said: “Other areas of concern around this incident include the lack of a working smoke alarm installed in one of the flats above the shop, however, thankfully, the resident was not at home at the time of the fire.
“This flat became heavily smoke-logged and had this been occupied then the repercussions of the fire could have been very serious.”
He added: “Storing combustible waste in entrance ways to shops and near to buildings is not uncommon and over the years, our service has experienced a number of serious fires caused by the deliberate ignition of inappropriately stored waste spreading to adjacent properties.
“East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service has therefore previously raised awareness with businesses across the county about being cautious when storing general waste in places where it can cause a fire to spread to a property and this fire should serve as a reminder of the risks involved.
“Most arson fires affecting businesses start outside the premises, particularly where there is an easy opportunity such as that presented by careless storage of combustible waste.”
Bexhill Community Fire Station crews are available to provide safety advice for anyone concerned about fire safety in their premises - visit http://www.esfrs.org/business/
R&R Kitchens continues to trade out of the Bathroom Studio a couple of doors down as the fire damage is repaired.
* Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
1) Make our website your homepage at www.bexhillobserver.net/
2) Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/bexhillobserver
3) Follow us on Twitter @BexhillObs
4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!
The Bexhill Observer - always the first with your local news.
Be part of it.