The owner of a kitchen firm, which was seriously damaged by fire, has vowed the episode will not defeat his team, promising the business will come back ‘stronger than ever’.
The blaze broke out in a doorway of R&R Kitchens in Ninfield Road, Sidley, just after 12.30am on Wednesday (April 5).
Managing director Steve Roller found out about the fire after receiving a call from a colleague at 7.30am.
But as firefighters were inspecting the building, he wasn’t allowed inside his shop until four hours later.
He told the Observer: “I could not believe the damage.
“It was totally destroyed. Everything in there has got to be thrown away to start again.
“It’s very, very sad. Not just for me, but all the people who work here.”
Although East Sussex Fire and Rescue has yet to comment on what caused the fire, and an investigation is underway, Mr Roller says he was told a wheelie bin had been set alight outside a door leading to the property.
The flat above the shop also sustained smoke damage in the fire, but luckily the occupant was away on the night of the incident.
R&R Kitchens has been trading in Sidley for three decades and Mr Roller says the shop has never experienced any trouble before.
He said: “We have always found the Sidley community to be wonderful.
“It’s the first time we have ever had a problem.”
R&R Kitchens is continuing to trade out of the Bathroom Studio a couple of doors down.
Mr Roller said: “We have been trading for 30 years and we won’t let this bring us to an end. We will not let it get us down.
“We are working hard. We are going to roll our sleeves up and keep trading and come back stronger than ever. It won’t defeat us.”
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