A betting shop in Whitton has been ravaged by a fire.
The William Hill shop on Whitton high street, Richmond upon Thames, was left gutted after an electrical fire started, according to the Richmond and Twickenham Times.
Crews from Twickenham, Feltham, Richmond and Heathrow arrived at the scene to tackle the blaze, with five engines and over 25 firefighters. The police and London Ambulance Service were also in attendance.
The blaze started at approximately 13:00 GMT January 28th and the crews worked for more than an hour to extinguish it. Nobody was injured but three people – who were in the shop at the time – had to flee, including the assistant manager Mohammed Hassan. Mr Hassan smelt burning and evacuated the shop, before calling the fire brigade.
Lisa Hicks, station manager at Richmond fire station, said: “It was a severe fire when we arrived – there have been no injuries and the investigation has now started.”
Police inspector Simon Young happened to be driving down the high street as the blaze broke out.
“We ran round to the back of the property in order to go up to the flat to make sure nobody was in danger.
“When we were satisfied that was the case we assisted by putting roadblocks in place,” he said.
Anish Gola, assistant manager at the neighbouring shop Your Move, said the smoke became darker and darker, while one of the firefighters knocked some of the windows through to check if anyone was inside.
He added that a crowd of people stood outside, watching the crews at work.
A William Hill spokesman was quoted as saying it would be a “considerable amount of time” before the shop opens again. In the meantime, staff would be relocated to other branches.
He added the flat above the shop had also been gutted as a result of the electrical fire.
Commercial buildings, non-domestic and multi-occupancy premises in England and Wales are already forced to undertake a ‘suitable and sufficient’ fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
While the overwhelming majority of premises do this, if the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.