Fire at derelict property in Grimsby affects shop owner's business
A BUSINESSMAN has called for action after the derelict property next to his went up in flames – affecting his 18-year-old established firm.
John Lloyd, the owner of Sign-ology, in Cleethorpe Road, Grimsby, has been complaining to letting agent Mayfair about the shop and flat next to his business since it became empty about six months ago.
He said he has secured the premises several times himself and added it was "just a case of waiting for something like this to happen".
The former second-hand shop caught fire at 8am yesterday, also affecting the flat above.
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Mr Lloyd had just arrived at work when he smelt smoke and raised the alarm.
The smoke blanketed the area, even seeping through the windows of the Grimsby Telegraph offices.
Mr Lloyd's premises were smoke clogged and suffered water damage, and he had to turn customers away.
He said the shop involved had been empty for about six months.
"I've contacted the letting agents about it several times, but they say they can't get hold of the owner so nothing could be done," he said. "It's unsecured – I have secured it myself before.
"I think the rules should be changed so that agents can step in to sort situations like this out when owners can't be tracked down.
"I knew it would happen though, it was just case of waiting for it.
"It could have been a lot worse. I am just glad it didn't happen in the middle of the night otherwise the whole lot could have gone up."
He added he was concerned that such a building might not be insured, and that he would have to claim on his own policy for the damage to his property.
"There are bricks falling onto my roof and damaging it as well," he added.
Three appliances attended, two from Peaks Lane and one from Cromwell Road.
Incident commander, watch manager Robert Stewart, said the cause of the ground floor fire was as yet unknown, but Mr Lloyd believes there is no power to the property.
Mayfair Estate Agents, of Grimsby, was contacted by the Grimsby Telegraph and confirmed it had been unable to contact the owner.
However, nobody was available to comment further.