Bosses of a Bury St Edmunds bike shop which was destroyed by a massive fire have vowed to reopen.
The blaze ripped through Cycle King, on Angel Hill, on Friday night as about 60 firefighters battled to stop the flames engulfing the neighbouring One Bull pub and Francela restaurant.
Two men, who received hospital treatment for the effects of breathing in smoke, were arrested on suspicion of arson.
Darren Hunt, group retail managing director at Cycle King, said the company was ‘devastated’ at the loss of the shop, which has been trading for more than 30 years, but praised the support of the community.
“We’ve had some great support from the local council and Mark Cordell, from Our Bury St Edmunds, has been absolutely fantastic,” he said.
“These stores are effectively like homes to us.
“You just feel so devastated because we’ve been here so long and there are so many generations of customers we’ve served.
“It feels like you’ve lost one of your own homes. It’s such an awful feeling.”
They plan to open a temporary site in Bury while the Angel Hill shop is brought back to life.
“The initial view of the structural engineers is that the beams and metal work have been so badly damaged that the building will need to come down and be replaced,” he said.
Scaffolding has been set up around the building as well as a hoarding, which will be decorated with images of bikes. The nearest Cycle King shops are in Cambridge and Colchester.
Mr Hunt said: “We’re incredibly grateful for the support we’ve had from the community. Everybody has been brilliant.”
He praised the ‘incredible’ actions of the firefighters, who managed to save the neighbouring buildings from destruction.
Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service was alerted to the blaze just after 5pm.
Ken Williamson, area commander, said they were faced with a ‘rapidly developing fire’ in the store room at the back of the shop which had spread to the roof space.
Twelve fire engines as well as an aerial appliance attended and they managed to create a ‘fire break’ on The One Bull and Francela by dampening down the walls of the buildings.
He said: “There’s been some slight fire damage into those buildings but that’s where fire crews managed to hold the fire back.”
The fire was brought under control by about 7pm and crews remained at the scene overnight to dampen it down.
The shop had about 1,000 bikes and there were ‘minor explosion risks’ from compressed tyres and gas canisters.
Mr Williamson said they were working with police to investigate the cause of the fire and the investigation is focused on the back storage area.
A 22-year-old man, from Stowmarket, and a 23-year-old man, from the Bury St Edmunds area, were arrested on Friday on suspicion of arson and, after receiving hospital treatment for the effects of breathing in smoke, were taken to Bury Police Investigation Centre for questioning.
They were released under investigation on Saturday.
Anyone with information about the incident is urged to contact Suffolk Police on 101, quoting reference CAD 332 of September 29.