In a tragic incident, an industrial estate in Baldock, Hertfordshire experienced a major fire, resulting in the loss of around £250,000 for a business owner and over 40 other businesses. The fire, which broke out on Tuesday evening, led to the destruction of several industrial units. Although the Hertfordshire Fire Service investigation concluded that the fire started accidentally, the aftermath has left business owners like Kareem Kamil devastated and heartbroken.
Kareem Kamil, a business owner who was about to open a nightclub and refurbish a pizza takeaway on the industrial estate, was present at the site when the fire started. He narrowly escaped the flames, however, lost everything he had invested in his businesses. Mr Kamil expressed his gratitude towards the fire brigade for their swift response and mentioned that he was fortunate not to have suffered any injuries. Unfortunately, he revealed that his contents insurance had not been finalized at the time of the incident.
According to the Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, the fire started accidentally near a tower in the northeastern part of the industrial estate, before rapidly spreading to surrounding units. The blaze took hold at approximately 18:15 BST, causing significant damage to the entire area. While the investigation concluded that the fire was accidental, further details regarding the exact cause have not been disclosed at this time.
Mr. Kamil expressed his devastation, explaining that his hard work, savings, and even his children’s savings had gone down the drain. The loss of £250,000, coupled with the emotional toll of seeing 15 months of hard work disappear in smoke, is undoubtedly heartbreaking. The fire not only affected Mr Kamil and his businesses but also impacted around 40 other companies on the industrial estate. The meeting held at Baldock Community Centre brought together those affected, providing them with an opportunity to share their stories and seek support during this difficult time.
Craig Ross, a business owner with multiple units at the industrial estate, expressed his horror upon witnessing the flames. He described the scene as “horrific” and highlighted the overwhelming impact on the affected businesses. Local farmers stepped in to assist, bringing their tractors and bowsers of water to support the fire brigade’s efforts to extinguish the blaze. The display of unity and support from the community was heartening, as residents and business owners worked together to mitigate the disaster and prevent further damage.
The Baldock Industrial Estate, situated adjacent to the town’s Tesco supermarket, faced significant disruption during the fire. The supermarket was also evacuated as a precautionary measure. Residents were advised to close their windows due to the large amount of smoke and some experienced power and water supply interruptions. Although the fire service warned of a potential unpleasant smell in the air for some time, they assured the public that it was not harmful.
Sir Oliver Heald, the Conservative MP for North East Hertfordshire, described the incident as a “big shock” for the town. He expressed his deep concern for the 43 industrial units that were destroyed, highlighting the significant impact on the local economy and the livelihoods of numerous individuals. The authorities are expected to coordinate relief efforts and explore possible measures to support the affected businesses.
The devastating fire that engulfed the Baldock Industrial Estate resulted in a substantial financial loss for many businesses, including Kareem Kamil, who lost around £250,000. The incident has left the local community shocked and saddened, but their resilience and support for one another have been commendable. As the investigations continue and efforts are made to rebuild and support those affected, the community needs to unite and demonstrate that adversity can be overcome.
Original Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-66199408