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Cycle King chief thanks ‘amazing’ support of Bury St Edmunds and reveals shop plans

PUBLISHED: 16:52 01 October 2017 | UPDATED: 18:08 02 October 2017

Firefighters from all over Suffolk were called to battle the blaze. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

Firefighters from all over Suffolk were called to battle the blaze. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

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Hopes that a temporary home for the destroyed Cycle King store could be found in the coming weeks have seen the Bury St Edmunds community hailed as ‘amazing’ just days after a fire tore through the business.

The charred frontage of Cycle King the morning after the fire in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT The charred frontage of Cycle King the morning after the fire in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

Darren Hunt, group retail managing director of Cycle King, said plans were already afoot to find a temporary home for the bike shop in the town centre, with support from the community.

Neighbouring businesses were evacuated as the fire in Angel Hill spread quickly on Friday evening. Around 65 firefighters from 12 appliances fought the blaze.

Fire crews inspecting the damage on Saturday morning. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT Fire crews inspecting the damage on Saturday morning. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

There were no injuries in the blaze, believed to have broken out in a storeroom at the rear the bike shop, which backs on to Abbey Gardens. The fire was reported at 5pm and under control by 7pm.

Mr Hunt said all 1,000 bikes in the store were destroyed in the fire and estimated the total damage to be hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Around 1,000 bikes were destroyed in the blaze. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT Around 1,000 bikes were destroyed in the blaze. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

The store has suffered significant damage and will be closed for six to 12 months while it is torn down and rebuilt.

“It is just absolutely devastating,” said Mr Hunt. “It is such a long-established shop and integral in the community. It is a complete, total loss. There is nothing salvageable.

“The firefighters did an incredible job. To save those buildings either side and put out the fire without any injuries; that’s just phenomenal. We would also like to say a massive thank you to the community. The support we have received has been absolutely amazing. Everybody has wished us all the best.

“The main store itself definitely won’t (be open for Christmas) but we are looking for temporary premises in the town centre. We have had fantastic support. Christmas is huge for us and we are keen to open quickly. The town centre is popular and finding a big enough place is the first hurdle.”

Bikes were piled up outside neighbouring pub The One Bull. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT Bikes were piled up outside neighbouring pub The One Bull. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

He said the cordoned-off building had no structural integrity. Firefighters had to contend with “some minor explosion risks”, Suffolk Fire and Rescue area commander Ken Williamson said. He said arson is a line of inquiry as investigations remain ongoing.

A 22-year-old man from Stowmarket and a 23-year-old man from the Bury St Edmunds area have been arrested on suspicion of arson.

The scene as crews took control of the fire. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT The scene as crews took control of the fire. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

They were treated for smoke inhalation in hospital before being questioned and released under investigation.

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