Full im­pact is re­vealed of blaze at store

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Tesco - By Ai­dan Bar­low

Ex­clu­sive in­te­rior pic­tures re­veal the full im­pact af­ter a su­per­mar­ket was dev­as­tated by fire fol­low­ing a sus­pected ar­son.

More than 20 fire­fight­ers were called to Tesco Ex­press near the Mace Lane round­about in Ash­ford at 1.30am last Fri­day.

The blaze, which ap­peared to have started at the rear of the store, quickly spread to the roof and caused wide­spread dam­age in­side.

At one point there were four fire en­gines, a cherry picker, and a bulk water car­rier at the scene of the blaze, where crews used sticky foam to pre­vent the flames spread­ing. Around 20 fire­fight­ers tack­led the blaze, re­main­ing at the scene un­til around 4.30am.

The fire gut­ted the build­ing in Mill Court, which is also home to Pay­dens Phar­macy, and on Fri­day morn­ing work­men be­gan the clean up by sweep­ing away charred de­bris and clos­ing off the store be­hind a se­cu­rity fence, which was erected around the site.

Now, pic­tures from in­side the build­ing taken by KE colum­nist Steve Sal­ter re­veal the ceil­ing has ut­terly col­lapsed, leav­ing the fully stocked shelves cov­ered in thick black ash.

Over the week­end work­men started work to dis­man­tle the roof us­ing two large cherry pick­ers. Their work ex­posed the dam­age to the steel gird­ers which have been weak­ened by the flames.

It is not yet clear how much the sus­pected ar­son will cost to re­pair, or how long it will take for the two premises to re­open.

Po­lice are prob­ing the cause

The col­lapsed ceil­ing of the wrecked Tesco Ex­press store af­ter the fire

Pic­ture: Andy Clark

Foot­paths lead­ing to the store were taped off

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