The owners of Watlington hardware store DG Homeware, which was left completely gutted after a vicious fire on Friday, April 7, have thanked the firefighters and members of the community who helped them.
Derek and Glennys Starling, who live next door to the shop they have owned for more than 30 years, were rescued by members of the public when the fire took hold on Friday evening at around 7pm. They have since been staying with family.
In a statement, the Starlings said: “Mr and Mrs Starling thank everybody in Watlington for their concern and patience while High Street has been closed. They have nothing but praise for all the firefighters who saved the building. The building will be rebuilt.”
The cause of the fire was a fault in ceiling lighting. Incident commander Marcus Reay said: “The ballast in the electrical lighting had dropped on to some recent deliveries in the store — fibreglass sandpaper and cardboard — which had subsequently ignited.”
More than 50 firefighters attended the blaze, with Mr Reay commenting at the time: ““I was very proud of my firefighters who worked tirelessly to bring the fire under control, in hot conditions using breathing apparatus, ladders and hose lines, in getting water onto the fire to stop it spreading.
"They worked tremendously together as a team and everybody put in a great deal of effort. Fortunately there were no casualties."
Police cordoned off the area while the blaze was brought under control, and the high street remained closed for the following Saturday.