Fire service: Pontypool fire accidental

FIRE  Firefighters who tackled a blaze at the St David's Foundation charity shop in Pontypool (9339992)

FIRE Firefighters who tackled a blaze at the St David's Foundation charity shop in Pontypool (9339992)

First published in News by

A BLAZE in Pontypool town centre which gutted a charity shop and flats above it on Friday morning was accidental, the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service said yesterday.

The fire destroyed the St David’s Foundation charity shop on the ground floor of the building on Hanbury Road and wrecked two floors of flats above it.

Fifty firefighters from across Gwent were called to deal with the fire at about 1.15am on Friday.

But it wasn't until 5pm that Hanbury Road finally reopened to traffic, with residents reporting tailbacks leading back to Crumlin Road.

Fire engines attended the blaze from New Inn, Cwmbran, Abersychan, Cardiff, Maindee and Abercarn and stayed at the building for much of Friday.

A man, believed to be over 60, was rescued from the flat on the second floor as flames tore through the building.

Despite managing to bring the fire under control at about 1.50am on Friday, 35 firefighters remained at the building during the day to dampen it down. Smoke could still be seen rising from the building eight hours after the fire had broken out.

Any further cause for the fire is still being investigated.

Massive disruption was caused in the town after the fire. The nearby Lloyds Bank was closed and the main road was shut in both directions. Buses travelling in and out of Pontypool were disrupted and the Civic Centre car park was also closed.

Eyewitnesses said the fire had started again at 9.15am after the fire relit and smoke poured out of a second floor window.

But a Torfaen council spokesman told the South Wales Argus on Friday that the building was structurally sound and that there was no reason for demolishing it following the damage.

The flats above the shop are managed by Melin Homes and the man over 60 is thought to be one of their tenants. A Melin Homes spokesman said the man was “overcome by smoke”, was taken to hospital and was recovering well.

Of the flats’ other residents, five were with friends or family, while another five were taken to the company’s offices as their sorted out temporary accommodation.

While the manager of the St David’s charity shop, Zdenka Beattie, said she was relieved no one was seriously hurt in the fire but that it was devastating to see the building in such a state. She said the shop had nine volunteers who would help out there.

Comments (1)

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2:29pm Mon 18 Aug 14

MikeO4O8 says...

Bet you he still won't be a priority for rehousing or a homeless b&b or emergency accommodation. Bet he will be told to stay with family or friends, it's a shame when criminals get priority over the good people, I was made homeless about 4 years ago threw no fault of my own, the council said unless my partner was pregnant, or 1 of us had just left prison or armed forces or have a severe disability, then there is nothing they can do as we are not a priority, luckily we went to SHELTER (a company called shelter not a homeless shelter) and spoke to them 1st, we ended up phoning them while sat in the council using our own phone as the council said they couldn't get threw to them. The council was telling me that even if I was a priority, they don't have anywhere for us, I passed the phone to them to speak to shelter and 2mins later, she hung up and amazingly they found a place, was told they found a place but it's not in Newport, it is a B&B in cwmtilary (think that's how you spell it) stated there a week and they found me a flat.

Anyway hope this guy does not have to go threw the same hassle I had to.
Bet you he still won't be a priority for rehousing or a homeless b&b or emergency accommodation. Bet he will be told to stay with family or friends, it's a shame when criminals get priority over the good people, I was made homeless about 4 years ago threw no fault of my own, the council said unless my partner was pregnant, or 1 of us had just left prison or armed forces or have a severe disability, then there is nothing they can do as we are not a priority, luckily we went to SHELTER (a company called shelter not a homeless shelter) and spoke to them 1st, we ended up phoning them while sat in the council using our own phone as the council said they couldn't get threw to them. The council was telling me that even if I was a priority, they don't have anywhere for us, I passed the phone to them to speak to shelter and 2mins later, she hung up and amazingly they found a place, was told they found a place but it's not in Newport, it is a B&B in cwmtilary (think that's how you spell it) stated there a week and they found me a flat. Anyway hope this guy does not have to go threw the same hassle I had to. MikeO4O8
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