Portsmouth bakery owner tells of devastation after fire tore through her business

A HEARTBROKEN bakery owner says her family is still in the dark over their future, after a fire decimated their business last night.

Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 12:35 pm

La Delizia in London Road, North End, caught fire yesterday evening, tearing through a bakery still very much in its infancy.

The owner, Anita Torok has spoken to The News about what happened last night, and how her family is feeling.

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A severe blaze has destroyed Italian pastry shop, La Delizia, in North End, Portsmouth Picture: Habibur Rahman

The 31-year-old said: 'We closed at 6pm and were at home when a friend called to say the bakery was on fire.

'I came down this morning and it's just horrible to look at. It breaks my heart.

'All you can smell is smoke - you can't even stand outside because it is so strong at the moment.'

The exact cost of the damage is unknown to the family at this time - as is the cause of the fire.

La Delizia, Portsmouth Picture: Habibur Rahman

Having only opened in February, the Covid-19 pandemic has made things tough enough as it is.

Anita said: 'Even opening during the pandemic, things had been going okay for the business.

'People seem to like our fresh Italian food, and we've been doing our bit for the community too - any leftovers at the end of the day are given to the homeless.

'The damage looks very bad but we will try to reopen as soon as possible.'

La Delizia in London Road, North End. Picture: David George

The fire broke out at 8pm yesterday, with around 35 firefighters from Southsea, Cosham and Portchester scrambled to the incident.

Officers brought the fire under control in an operation that took about three hours.

People living in three flats – two above the pastry shop and one on the ground floor – had to be evacuated as the fire threatened to spread to other buildings.

While the blaze tore through her business, Anita found herself with influx of support via social media.

Friends and strangers alike have offered their support in getting the business back on its feet.

Anita said: 'People have offered to help wherever they can, like clearing away the debris or redecorating.

'It's really nice to have that support during a difficult time.'

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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