We take many precautions to deter the start of a fire but we cannot predict the weather. Lightning might be the cause of a fire at The Old Cement Works, as some people at the scene have suggested. There are numerous businesses at The Old Cement Works but it was only Quayside Antiques that was lit on fire. Quayside Antiques has been restoring furniture for decades but on July 19th they saw their business go up in flames. The workshop was completely destroyed.  Luckily no one was injured and it did not spread to other businesses at The Old Cement Works Industrial Estate.

 

It took almost an entire day for the East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service to put out the fire at the workshop. They were called to the site at 12:30am and described the fire as “severe”. At the height of the fire there were eight fire engines battling the flames. It was a horrible scene to see the business go up in smoke, literally. Due to the hard work of the Fire and Rescue, no other buildings in the vicinity caught fire. Had the wind been stronger and the Fire and Rescue presence less, this fire could have been a big disaster for The Old Cement Works and its tenants.

 

The fire is not being treated as suspicious and it is quite possible that it fell victim to lightning. As it happened when the business was closed, there was no one there to sound the alarm immediately. The building might need to be torn down due to structural damage. Structural safety engineers were on the scene to attempt to assess the building. The East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service issued a statement saying that the investigation is being hampered by unsteady walls. The building is unsafe for a full investigation as to why the fire started. As for the other tenants at The Old Cement Works, the estate manager for Glynde Estates, Nick Jones, said that they will “be doing everything we can to limit disruption to our tenants and we would like to thank the emergency services for their work”. The investigation continues.