Town centre fire update: “My throat and chest are killing me, but I’m OK”

Fire investigators at Shape in Market Harborough.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-160408-122228005

Fire investigators at Shape in Market Harborough. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-160408-122228005

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Three people and a cat had to be rescued from their flats by firefighters after a blaze in Market Harborough town centre last night (Weds).

Three people and a cat had to be rescued from their flats by firefighters after a blaze in Market Harborough town centre last night (Weds).

Gutted...Ian White inside Shape after fire destroyed the premises on Adam & Eve Street in Market Harborough.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-160408-122213005

Gutted...Ian White inside Shape after fire destroyed the premises on Adam & Eve Street in Market Harborough. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-160408-122213005

The fire began in Shape Hairstyles, which is down an alley by 4, Adam and Eve Street, between the Little Big Bra Shop and All Tribe tattoo studio.

The fire completely gutted the hairdressers, which is owned by local woman Linda Porter, and spread thick black smoke down the alley and up towards adjacent flats.

The Fire and Rescue Service’s investigation team were at the site this morning (Thurs). A Fire Service spokesman said he believed the cause of the fire was not suspicious, but likely to be caused by an electrical fault.

One of the three people who were led through the smoke to safety from two neighbouring flats last night by firefighters was Hollie Studd (27).

She told the Mail: “I was dozing on the sofa at about 8pm last night when I heard a series of really loud bangs,

“I looked out into the street (Adam and Eve Street) and then into the alley. The alley was filled with smoke, and I heard another bang. I thought someone in the alley was letting off fireworks.

“But when I literally climbed onto my kitchen units to see what was going on, I could see Shape Hairstyles was on fire, and there was another explosion, and the hairdresser’s window started to come away from the wall.

“I couldn’t leave because my exit would be through the alley, which was full of the thickest, blackest smoke I’ve ever seen, so I phoned the Fire Brigade and told the two lads who were in the flat above what was happening.”

She said the Fire Service was at the scene very quickly and were able to lead the three occupants through the smoke to safety. A fire fighter also located and rescued a cat from the building.

All three people rescued were taken to Kettering General Hospital because of smoke inhalation.

Hollie, who works at Aldi in Market Harborough, said she was now staying with her parents, who also live in the town.

“My throat and chest are killing me, but I’m OK” she said. “I don’t know when I’ll be able to go back to my apartment. There’s no fire damage but some smoke damage.”

The owner of the block of buildings, Ian White, the former boss of town High Street china shop Whitemore’s, told the Mail the hairdressers would be rebuilt, but it would take months.

He said fire doors had prevented the fire spreading into neighbouring properties.