BLAST DESTROYS SHOP
Owner left shocked by store blaze
TWO staff at a West Drayton newsagents had a lucky escape when the shop burst into flames following an ‘explosion’.
The employees were in the back of the West Drayton Food & Wines, in Harmondsworth Road, when they heard the sudden noise and fled the building before London Fire Brigade arrived to tackle the blaze.
Eyewitnesses said the shop burst into flames at around 9.30pm last Thursday (June 4).
Vijaya Raja, who has owned the shop for 14 years, said: “I’m just shocked right now and we’re trying to sort it out and open as soon as possible.”
The fire is believed to have started when a leaking gas cylinder was ignited by an electrical spark, the fire brigade said.
The majority of the damage was to the ground-floor of the building, at the front, where the shop counter is located.
It took four fire engines and 21 firefighters to wrestle the blaze under control.
Since then Mr Raja has enlisted the help of friends to assist him clear in clearing the debris.
Two young men, who did not want to named, witnessed the explosion and helped evacuate the family living above the shop.
One said: “I was smoking nearby when I heard a loud noise.
“At first we thought there was someone kicking off and did something to the shop. Then I saw the fire at the front of the shop.
“It was all so sudden, it all happened in less than a minute.”
The other young man, who helped a family who live above the shop, said: “It was like something in a movie.”
Shahidul Islam, who lives with his wife and two children, was working at Sipson Tandoori next door, at the time of the explosion.
He said: “I heard the bang while I was at work. We all left and stayed with our next door neighbour last night. We’re all okay though.”
Firefighters from Hillingdon, Heathrow and Hayes fire stations attended the blaze along with other emergency services.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said the fire is not being treated as suspicious.
n DESTROYED: The aftermath of a fire at West Drayton Food & Wines in Ruislip on June 4 2015 Photos by London Fire Brigade