The devastated owner of a Bognor shop ravaged by fire has said everything inside has been destroyed.
The major blaze took hold of Keith Jay Carpet & Furniture at around 6pm on Wednesday and ripped through the top of the building for around six hours.
The roof has been completely destroyed and the second floor collapsed under the intense heat, with thousands of pound worth of stock gone.
Dave Hubbard, managing director of the company, said: “They still don’t know what caused it. I’d like to know but because the damage is so great I’m not sure we ever will.
“The top floor has gone with everything stored there. The roof collapsed and it brought down the ceiling of the second floor.
“The only part not affected by the fire was the ground floor showroom, but that’s been totally decimated by smoke and water. There’s nothing left that’s sellable.
“The whole place is a write-off.”
Mr Hubbard said he got a call just before seven to say his shop was alight.
“All I could do was stand and watch as it burnt down,” he said.
“I was completely helpless as I watched thousands of gallons of water being pumped into the shop. It did as much damage as the fire although obviously it was necessary.”
Keith Jay Carpets and Furniture celebrated 50 years of trading on London Road last year and Mr Hubbard has run the company for the last 25 years.
Now he said the independent business faced an uncertain future.
“It’s our intention to continue trading from our other premises but it will be in a limited fashion,” he said.
“We have customer orders going through and we should be able to fulfil them.
“We still have bills to pay, wages and rent and they don’t go away.
“I’m not sure what they future will hold, at the moment we’re in limbo until we hear from the insurance company.”
The owner of the building, Keith Jay, had been informed, Mr Hubbard said.
Mr Hubbard thanked this loyal customers as well as the 50 firefighters who battled the ‘intense fire’ overnight.
“We have good customers, I’ve had about six hugs from people saying we’re so sorry this has happened. We hope they’ll continue to support us.
“They (the fire service) did brilliantly. Obviously it would have been nice if not so much water was used but they did what they had to do and they did it well.”
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