Shock­ing pic­tures show gut­ted wreck­age inside fire-rav­aged phar­macy

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Exclusive Photos -

New pic­tures show how badly dam­aged the Pay­dens Phar­macy in Mill Court, Ash­ford, is af­ter an ar­son at­tack.

Staff at the ad­join­ing Tesco Ex­press were told last week it could be six months be­fore re­pairs to the fire-rav­aged build­ing are fin­ished.

Pay­dens was dam­aged af­ter the sus­pi­cious fire, which started at the rear of the Tesco store on Fri­day, March 31.

The fire spread from the back of the su­per­mar­ket, melt­ing the gut­ter­ing be­fore spread­ing into the build­ing’s roof, caus­ing ex­ten­sive dam­age to the steel struc­ture.

Ex­clu­sive pic­tures taken by Ken­tish Ex­press his­to­rian Steve Sal­ter re­veal the ex­tent of the dam­age inside Pay­dens.

The phar­macy is look­ing to set up a tem­po­rary shop in the car park so pa­tients at the neigh­bour­ing GP surgery can pick up their medicines.

Mr Sal­ter said: “The fire may have started to the rear of the far end of Tesco but the dam­age inside the chemist, in par­tic­u­lar the dis­pen­sary and con­sul­ta­tion room, is ex­ten­sive.

“Shelves and shelves of pre­scrip­tion drugs sit seem­ingly un­touched amid the de­struc­tion but, to­gether with all the ev­ery­day items found in typ­i­cal chemists, they will have to be writ­ten off due to smoke and wa­ter dam­age.

“It’s quite sur­real to see day­light where the sus­pended ceil­ing once stood.

“Piles and piles of burnt tim- bers, ceil­ing tiles to­gether with in­su­la­tion and roof­ing slate now lit­ter the floor where many fix­tures and fit­tings lay de­stroyed and melted.

“One can’t imag­ine how phar­ma­cist Paul Jor­dan felt when see­ing his nor­mally im­mac­u­late dis­pen­sary look­ing so dam­aged.

“It is even worse for Mr Jor­dan, a vet­eran in the world of dis­pens­ing of some 30 years, to­gether with his wife, Tina, who is also a phar­ma­cist, be­cause the popular chemist is like home from home for them.

“Many will be aware of Mr Jor­dan’s col­lec­tion of vin­tage phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal ap­pa­ra­tus and con­tain­ers on dis­play in the shop, which have all luck­ily sur­vived the fire.”

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion on the fire can call the po­lice on 01843 222289 and quote ref­er­ence num­ber ZY/12485/17.

Pic­tures: Steve Sal­ter

The in­te­rior of Pay­dens Phar­macy in Mill Court, Ash­ford, which was de­stroyed in an ar­son at­tack last month

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