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Witnesses describe moment blaze broke out at Aberdeen shoe shop

Picture by Kami Thomson
Picture by Kami Thomson

An Aberdeen shoe shop has suffered serious damage after fire ripped through its premises.

The incident happened at Rose Street Shoe Repairs at around 4pm on Saturday and the store will be closed for a considerable period because of devastation to the shop front, roof and machinery in the building.

The police and fire services were alerted to the blaze at 4.13pm.

Nine fire engines and a height vehicle were sent to the scene from Altens, Dyce, Banchory, Stonehaven and the Central Station in Aberdeen.

The police closed Rose Street to allow firefighters to tackle the inferno which was eventually extinguished at 8.15pm, with the last appliance leaving the scene two hours later.

Nobody was hurt in the blaze which caused substantial damage to the property.

Efforts to speak to the owner proved unsuccessful yesterday.

However, Elena Aspe, co-owner of the Muchacho restaurant next door to the shoe outlet, witnessed the blaze.

She said yesterday: “It was one of our staff who noticed the fire and we phoned the emergency services.

“Then we heard an explosion, so we all left our building and the fire service took it from there.

“There is a lot of damage for our neighbour which is really unfortunate and his business is pretty much just a shell at the moment.

“The roof was burnt out and the firemen were yelling ‘up through the roof’ and they were on the top of the roof checking to see if anything was burning away.

“His facing, his glass window, all his machinery is all burnt, it’s so unfortunate – he has lost everything.

“We’re all really sad for him, because he is a great neighbour.”

The eatery has been closed on Saturday, Sunday and today as a result of damage from the fire, but they hope to reopen later this week.

Aberdeen City Centre community council chairman, Dustin MacDonald, hopes the shoe store can get back on its feet as soon as possible.

He said: “To see a local business, especially a business like this which caters for specific needs, hit by such a traumatising event is very sad.

“I hope for a swift recovery – these things are never easy to come back from, emotionally as well as physically.

“When the business has been built up over a number of years, it must be devastating to see it struck by disaster and I wish the owner well.”

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