Wrexham's Eagles Meadow evacuated after fire at sports shop

Reporter:

Amy Sargeson

A BUSY shopping centre was evacuated after a fire broke out in one of the stores.
 
Clothes and other stock caught fire at Sports Direct in Eagles Meadow after a lightbulb exploded in the store’s stockroom yesterday.
 

 
 
The centre was evacuated shortly after the fire – which witnesses said was contained within the store – broke out.
 
Staff and shoppers initially gathered in the centre’s concourse to watch on as firefighters tackled the blaze, while black smoke billowed into the sky before being moved away from the area.
 
Shopping centre manager Kevin Critchley said: “I would like to thank the fire service for their quick response, which ensured the fire was confined to the Sports Direct store.
 
“After the smoke and fire alarms sounded, our well-drilled safety procedures kicked in immediately and we evacuated that section of the centre.
 
“I would like to thank our customers and all the staff who work here for the calm way in which they reacted to the situation.
 
“The most important thing from my point of view is nobody has been hurt and we are assisting the fire service in every way we can.”
 
A North Wales Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said crews from Wrexham, Llangollen and Buckley attended, with the aerial ladder platform used along with the incident command unit from Rhyl.
 
At about 5.20pm officers were still at the scene ventilating the Sports Direct shop and nearby stores but the blaze was quickly brought under control.
 
One ambulance attended but nobody was hurt.
 
l  CAMPAIGNERS fighting to prevent North Wales Fire and Rescue Authority slashing £1 million from the service’s budget by slashing one of Wrexham’s two full-time crews, cutting 24 full-time firefighter roles, said the incident was a fine example of why the cuts should not be allowed to go ahead.
 
Save Our Services campaigner Marc Jones, chairman of Caia Park Community Council, said: “Cutting the number of whole-time crews will, I fear, put lives at risk and councillors who will be making this decision should have that as a priority rather than saving money.”

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