THE Chinese takeaway next to Rowlands Pharmacy was only saved by the quick response of the fire service.
The family business suffered fire and smoke damage – both inside and outside – but managers believe they will be able to reopen after extensive repair work.
Laurie Lau works in the Kim & Laurie Chinese takeaway with his wife Kim and son Maxwell.
He said it was not long after he and his son had finished work that the fire broke out.
‘When we left the takeaway at 2am everything was alright,’ he said.
‘Then when it started we could see it from our windows. I rushed out but they told me to stand back, so all I could do was watch.
‘Being a takeaway my first thought when I saw the fire was “oh god, did we leave something on?”
‘It was a terrible feeling but now we know that’s not what happened, which is a relief.’
Mr Lau added that some of the damage to the property was caused by firefighters trying to halt the fire, but that he was extremely grateful to them for saving the business.
‘Thankfully the fire was out before it could do much damage,’ he said.
‘I am very glad the firefighters managed to stop it.’
His son Maxwell said: ‘The firefighters caused some damage trying to stop the fire spreading, but they managed to save 80 per cent of the business.
‘They did a great job.’
He added: ‘I’m not happy, because that was my full-time job. Now we might not be able to reopen for at least a couple of months.
‘My dad has another job working somewhere else, but me and my mum run the takeaway.
‘So it’s a huge blow for us.
‘We rent the building, so we will have to speak to the landlord and see what he wants to do.’
Laurie Lau added that one of his concerns was that the closure of the takeaway would affect local people.
He said: ‘Our customers are the ones I feel sorry for.
‘I want to apologise to them, because though I know we couldn’t do anything, it still must be inconvenient for them.
‘We will try and reopen as soon as possible.’