Community rallies round during fire

NILA 22-10-12 BE 8 Fire at ilkeston, old abbatoir, nr Station Road. Owner of Little Meez Emma Stevenson and and Julie Mee with Matt Stenson from MS accountancy and Richard Whitehead from the Erewash Hotel who helped move stock.
NILA 22-10-12 BE 8 Fire at ilkeston, old abbatoir, nr Station Road. Owner of Little Meez Emma Stevenson and and Julie Mee with Matt Stenson from MS accountancy and Richard Whitehead from the Erewash Hotel who helped move stock.

A trader has praised the community spirit shown by fellow business owners when a fire meant she needed to empty her shop to save stock from smoke damage.

Julie Mee rushed to the Station Road shop on Sunday night after hearing about a massive fire in an old abbatoir behind the business.

When she arrived she found the area surrounding Little Meez, a baby shop, cordoned off as 30 firefighters tackled the blaze.

When she explained who she was she was allowed through the cordon to rescue her stock.

Julie who runs the shop with her daughter Emma Stevenson, said: “As soon as they said I could go into the shop to try and save the stock people came over and started offering to help.

“People from nearby homes that had been evacuated and from the businesses next to ours helped me load the car up with stuff and the police on the scene even tried to get a riot van so we could fit more in and get it out of the building.

“Matt from the accountancy firm next door and Richard from the Erewash Hotel both helped out.

“The community spirit shown was just amazing and the emergency crews were brilliant.”

The shop was forced to close on Monday and Tuesday but Julie, Emma and their friends and family worked through the night to re-open on Wednesday.

Julie said: “There is some stock that we can’t sell now but we managed to save the majority of stuff.

“It could have been so much worse for us, if it had been a windy night the shop would almost definitely have caught fire as well and we would have been left with nothing.”

The cause of the fire, which started just before 6pm, has not yet been established.