Bike shop owner 'devastated' after store is destroyed in fire

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Cycle Recycle's Long Stratton store was destroyed in the fire - Credit: Archant

The owner of a recently opened bike store has said he is "devastated" after it was destroyed in a fire that ripped through flats and a parade of shops.

Cycle Recycle has said it will remain closed "for the foreseeable future" but it has been "overwhelmed" by support from customers following the blaze. 

People were left homeless and several businesses were damaged when the fire broke out at 1.50pm in Long Stratton on Thursday, July 14.

Seven fire crews battled the blaze and the A140 was closed throughout the afternoon as it continued to burn. 

Locals gathered to watch as the scene unfolded and while homes and livelihoods were lost, no one was injured in the fire.

In an open letter, owner Matt Murphy said: "A fire started in the flat above our new Long Stratton store on Thursday afternoon.

"By 5pm four flats and three shops had been destroyed.

"It looks like we are going to be closed for the foreseeable future but thankfully, no one was hurt.

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"Words cannot explain how devastated we are to watch all our hard work go up in flames. 

"We wanted to thank everyone who has sent kind messages to us over the last few days. 

"We are overwhelmed with the level of support from our customers, and in particular the kind people of Long Stratton."

Fire in Long Stratton. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

Fire in Long Stratton. Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Brittany Woodman/ Archant

The blaze left some of the flats with no roof at all, while the others suffered serious damage.

Cycle Recycle opened its first store 12 years ago in Kessingland and has since expanded with stores in Beccles and Long Stratton.

The business recycles old bicycles and parts to give them a new lease of life and keep them out of landfills.

Fire in Long Stratton. Louie. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

Fire in Long Stratton - Credit: Brittany Woodman/ Archant

While Cycle Recycle's Long Stratton store is closed, its other locations remain open for business. 

Mr Murphy added: "With hindsight, we are fortunate. People have lost their homes, their livelihoods, and their treasured possessions."