Ma­jor fire closes op­ti­cians

Smoke spread through shops and flats

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Nathan Spen­de­low nathan.spen­de­low@trin­i­tymir­

SIX fire en­gines and 35 fire­fight­ers tack­led a fire in the Vi­sion Ex­press shop in Ruis­lip High Street.

Ac­cord­ing to Lon­don Fire Brigade, the alarm was raised by peo­ple in a neigh­bour­ing shop who no­ticed smoke pour­ing into the front of their own prop­erty on Mon­day, Fe­bru­ary 22.

The dam­age to the shop means it will be closed for re­pairs.

A tem­po­rary shop has been opened a few doors away in the for­mer Greggs.

When the first fire crew ar­rived, they dis­cov­ered the fire at the back of the shop with the blaze spread­ing to a flat above.

The shop and flat were both re­port­edly left se­verely dam­aged by the fire, but LFB con­firmed that there were no in­juries and no­body was in­side at the time.

Daniel Hard­man, who wit­nessed the fire, said: “Caffe Nero had smoke in­side and a hose was go­ing through Baskin-Rob­bins next door.

“All the flats above had smoke in them too and there were loads of fire en­gines around, I couldn’t make out where the fire was com­ing from. Fire­fight­ers had to break through the door at Vi­sion Ex­press to get in.”

Lon­don Fire Brigade was called at 7.20pm, with the fire be­ing brought un­der con­trol by 10.56pm.

Fire­fight­ers from Hilling­don, Ruis­lip, Har­row, Southall, Wem­b­ley, Ham­mer­smith and Stan­more fire sta­tions at­tended the scene, with the cause of the fire cur­rently un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

A smoke alarm was said to have been fit­ted, but it is not known if it op­er­ated.

A Vi­sion Ex­press spokesper­son said that a tem­po­rary store will be set up af­ter the Ruis­lip branch went up in flames.

They said: “The Ruis­lip store will re­main closed while the cause is de­ter­mined and the store is re­fur­bished.

“We are in­tend­ing to open­ing a tem­po­rary Vi­sion Ex­press store to en­able us to con­tinue to look af­ter our cus­tomers.

“Mean­while the near­est Vi­sion Ex­press stores can be found at St Ge­orge’s in Har­row and at The Pavil­ions cen­tre in Uxbridge, where ap­point­ments for eye tests can be booked.”

n IN­VES­TI­GA­TION: Vi­sion Ex­press in Ruis­lip High Street re­mains shut

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