Burwash shop fire, quick thinking averts a disaster.

17th September

In the early hours of Wednesday, 12 September a fire was spotted at the rear of the Burwash Londis Village Store; fortunately there was no loss of life and the incident was contained by the Fire Service.

We received this eye witness account from Burwash resident, Wendy Woolgar, whose house is directly behind the store,  her and her son’s swift action would appear to have prevented the fire from taking a greater hold and causing more damage:

” My son is a retained fireman in Burwash,  I woke up just before 3.25am, to hear him running around the house opening doors,  he had smelt smoke upstairs through his bedroom window and then heard a crackling noise. He immediately thought there was no way anyone would be having a bonfire at that time of the night.  He opened my door to check on me downstairs and then opened the door next door to my room and it was lit up by the flames just over the wall from that room.  Our house is the only house that is behind the shop so no one else would have seen the flames.  His first thought was it was our house which was why he was checking all the rooms. He then shouted at me that there was a fire at the back of Londis.  I quickly got dressed and called 999 at 3.31am while he took off through thick smoke up our drive to the station and alerted his colleagues before they were even notified by their alerters. I had to go back indoors and get a wet towel as I wouldn’t have made it through the thick smoke up our drive without it. I ran across the road and just grabbed the nearest person and hugged them as I was very scared. Halfway up the drive the flames suddenly whooshed up and when I got over the road I called 999 again and said that we would need more than one pump to deal with it to avert a major incident and also to send an ambulance should the fire spread before evacuation commenced.  Burwash appliance arrived very quickly and immediately got their BA kit on and started dealing with it but it kept flaring up again, other crews shortly arrived. The Bear very kindly opened its doors for us and supplied us with hot drinks and the firemen also had bacon sandwiches.  Another 20mins without Burwash Crew arriving so promptly and it would have been a totally different story and many houses would have been lost and possibly lives.”

The rear of the store was destroyed and there was smoke and heat damage to the stock in the shop, this has resulted in the shop being closed. The local community rallied round and social media was buzzing with offers of help for those in need. There was much praise for the emergency services and The Bear Inn who opened their doors to help locals and supported the fire crews with refreshments.

This is the update from the shop.