Business counts cost after blaze

A BUSINESS is counting the cost today after fire swept through its smoke house, destroying a large amount of food stock.The blaze broke out at the famous Richardson's Smoke House in Orford, near Woodbridge, which produces a wide range of products including fish, cheese and game, shortly before 11am yesterday.

A BUSINESS is counting the cost today after fire swept through its smoke house, destroying a large amount of food stock.

The blaze broke out at the famous Richardson's Smoke House in Orford, near Woodbridge, which produces a wide range of products including fish, cheese and game, shortly before 11am yesterday.

Fire took hold of the premises during the smoking process but Tim Richardson, the owner's 24-year-old son, managed to douse the flames before they damaged the structure of the building or the shop.

Three fire engines from Woodbridge, Orford and Saxmundham attended the scene.

The blaze destroyed a large amount of stock but nobody was injured and the shop opened as usual.

The business is run by Steve Richardson, his partner Veronica Buckley, and their son Tim, and has been in operation for 20 years.

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Ms Buckley said yesterday: “I was serving a customer when my son discovered it.

“I don't know whether the wind whipped up a spark. How it started is just speculation. Once it goes it goes.

“It goes up a bit like a bomb. It's incredible, it happens so quickly.

“Tim virtually put out the flames out before the fire brigade arrived but it wasn't out completely.

“He did a very good job. I'm quite proud of him. I said to him: 'Where did you learn to fire fight?”

“We have lost a considerable amount of food. Nobody was hurt. I was a bit shaken at the time.”

The shop opened as usual yesterday and Ms Buckley said she was optimistic the smoke house would be up and running again today.

“We have lost a lot of food but the building is secure,” she said.

“The food is the least of my worries. We were trying to get enough stock for the Bank Holiday. It's going to make it a busy week.”

Firefighters remained at the premises yesterday morning to ensure the fire did not reignite.

Ms Buckley added: “We are still up and running, seven-days-a-week, it's business as usual.”

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