This post was first published by Croydon Advertiser on 04/07/2018
Business which suffered ‘extensive damage’ finally reopening eight months after huge Purley fire
A total of 72 firefighters spent more than four hours tackling the serious fire in October 2017.
An estate agents in Purley which was forced to close after suffering “extensive water damage” as part of the considerable effort to put out a huge fire is reopening.
A total of 72 firefighters spent more than four hours tackling the serious fire in the roof of a row of flats above shops and businesses on Brighton Road on October 31 last year.
Thick black smoke and flames were seen shooting from the building, which backs onto Purley High Street, and London Fire Brigade received a dozen 999 calls as 20 people evacuated the building before the first of 11 fire crews arrived.
Andrews estate agents, which is on the ground floor of the damaged building on Brighton Road, had to close following the fire and will reopen on Saturday (July 7).
The estate agents had only finished a refurbishment of the branch earlier in 2017 and while it escaped damage from the fire itself, the amount of water used to extinguish the flames left part of the unit flooded.
David Bryant, area manager at Andrews, said: “We were lucky to not be directly affected by the fire, but the work required to get us back on our feet because of the water damage was, nonetheless, extensive.
“It involved pumping out the water from the flooded basement, stripping the property back to its shell including all the electrics, drying out the interior and rebuilding the interior with new walls, ceilings and flooring before adding all new fixtures, fittings, furniture and finishes.”
While the repair work was being carried out, the seven members of staff who were based in the Purley office moved over to work with their colleagues in Coulsdon.
The estate agents are reopening at 10am on Saturday (July 7).
Following an investigation, the LFB said the fire was accidental and had been caused by “hot works being carried out” in the building.
This type of work could include welding, soldering, grinding and the use of other equipment incorporating a flame.
Sparks and molten material from hot work can be scattered more than 35 feet during welding, cutting and grinding.
These sparks are typically at a temperature above 1,000°F and as a result materials such as paper and wood can be easily ignited.
Further information on what hot works were being carried out at the time was not released.