Blaze closes Co-op store
AN investigation is under way to find the cause of a fire that broke out in a store in Gillingham.
Customers and staff were evacuated from the Co-operative foodstore in the High Street when the blaze broke out on Saturday evening.
Nobody was injured.
Around 40 firefighters tackled the flames, which left about half of the premises damaged by the fire and affected the structure of the building.
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All of the store's contents were damaged by smoke.
The building is expected to remain closed for months.
Retained firefighters from Gillingham were on the scene within ten minutes of the alarm being raised at around 5.45pm.
Engines from Wincanton, Mere, Yeovil, Shaftesbury, Sturminster Newton, Sherborne and Blandford also attended.
A spokeswoman for the Co-operative Food said: "Thankfully no-one was injured in the incident, but the store has been seriously damaged and will remain closed until further notice while substantial repairs are carried out.
"We apologise to customers for the inconvenience this may cause over coming months, but our small store on Lodbourne Green Parade, Gillingham, and our larger store in Shaftesbury remain open for business as usual."
A spokeswoman for Dorset Fire and Rescue Service said the cause of the fire was not thought to be deliberate.
FIRE crews will be outside the store today and tomorrow to talk to people about fire safety.