Staff avert inferno at Belfast city sports shop
Thousands of pounds worth of sports gear has been damaged at one of Belfast's oldest businesses after a faulty electrical box began billowing smoke, threatening to engulf the shop in flames.
Staff at SS Moore's on Chichester Street believe the store was seconds away from a major blaze. Fire was avoided when power to the box was cut.
None of the 10 staff or any customers were injured, and firefighters and engineers from NIE were on the scene quickly.
The owner of the shop, which has been at its location in the city centre for most of its 65-year history, is now urging other business owners to have their electrical installations inspected.
Staff raised the alarm just after the retailer opened at 9am yesterday.
Director Jonathan Moore said employees had been going about their normal business and that just three customers were on the premises at the time.
"Upon detection of smoke billowing from the electrics box, the alarm was raised," he explained.
"The building was quickly evacuated and the emergency services called.
"The fire crew was on site within two to three minutes of being called; by this time the whole of the ground floor was covered in black smoke."
He said the situation could have been much worse.
"We have been told that if this had happened overnight the situation would have been very different," he added.