London – One of the country’s leading Kosher supermarkets could remain closed for the Rosh Hashanah rush after a major fire caused extensive damage to the shop and destroyed tens of thousands worth of goods.
Much of Golders Green Road was shut off and local residents and shoppers evacuated Thursday evening as fifty firefighters spent around four hours tackling a blaze at the warehouse belonging to Kosher Kingdom.
One woman was led to safety suffering from smoke inhalation, according to the London Fire Brigade.
After the flames had been under control and the traffic was again flowing in the area, it was confirmed that the fire had destroyed around three quarters of the building where items had included extensive stock for Rosh Hashanah.
A spokesman for Kosher Kingdom said we aim to be open for Yom Tov but it doesn’t look likely.
He said: “We were totally in shock. The first thing that came to mind was what’s our customers going to do. Thank god nobody was harmed and we’d like thank community for their support, we’ve received many phonecalls and emails wishing us the best.
“We’re just waiting for surveyors to come in to check the safety of the premises and how long it will take to reconstruct so that we can get back in there as soon as possible. Next week we’ll have a better idea.”
The LFB had no official update today on its statement last week that the cause of the blaze is under investigation – as is regular practise with a significant fire. However, the Kosher Kingdom spokesman said “we haven’t got official conformation but seems to be an electrical fire”.
Local resident Debby Colman, whose garden backs on to the warehouse, recalled that her first thoughts on seeing smoke was that someone might be having a barbecue. She quickly realised, however, that that wasn’t the case and dialled 999.
“They were there within five minutes,” she said. “But by that time you could not breath, the smoke was that thick and the flames could be seen coming out of the building. In a short space of time, it became a major incident.”
Colman was among the residents of Russell Gardens and Alba Gardens, the roads on either side of the supermarket, to be evacuated from their homes until late evening. While the fire was under control by shortly after 9pm, firefighters remained at the scene overnight damping down.