SAFFRON WALDEN: Shop destroyed by water leak

A SAFFRON Walden store has lost thousands of pounds worth of stock after a water leak.

Fire crews from Saffron Walden were called to Beales Department Store on Market Place in the early hours of this morning (Dec 6) after burglar and fire alarms were activated.

A keyholder who went to check out the alarms spotted a burst water pipe on the top floor of the four-storey building. Water from the leak was seeping onto floors below.

Station officer Paul Curtis issued a warning to homes and businesses to check out their water pipes and make sure they are properly lagged now that the cold weather has finally arrived.

“We were called to an explosion and water leak originally and one appliance was sent to the scene.

“When we arrived, we found the water leak pouring from the top floor, through all the floors down to the cellar causing thousands of pounds worth of damage to stock and bringing down the structure of the building as it went right through to the cellar.

“We called for a second crew to assist with a major salvage operation, removing any stock we could to safety and dealing with the incident itself.

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“This is a terrible time for anyone to suffer this kind of damage, but for one of the town’s best known department stores, it’s a catastrophe.

“We’ve all become a bit complacent about the cold weather and the damage that can be done as temperatures have remained high for this time of the year. But it appears the weather is now getting colder and that means people need to make sure their homes and businesses are weather protected. We don’t want anyone else to be in a similar position as Beales, particularly at this time of the year.”

The incident was dealt with by 3am. The property was left in the care of the store staff.