GALLERY: Gutted chippy had only recently been taken over by woman who sold home to buy it

A FIRE which gutted a fish and chip shop in March today had only recently been taken over by a woman who sold her bungalow to raise the cash to buy it. Elizabeth Shepherd at one stage had planned to run the fish and chip shop in Nene Parade, March, with h

A FIRE which gutted a fish and chip shop in March today had only recently been taken over by a woman who sold her bungalow to raise the cash to buy it.

Elizabeth Shepherd at one stage had planned to run the fish and chip shop in Nene Parade, March, with her husband Ted but he died last year.

"Thinking that Ted wanted his own chip shop inspired me to buy it," said Mrs Shepherd.

"I even sold my bungalow to raise the money I needed" She took the business over from her brother in law, David Bearman.


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Today her dreams were in tatters following the blaze which broke out at around 11.17am: three crews are battling to bring the blaze under control at the Riverside Caf�, Nene Parade, March.

A spokeswoman for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service said that one person had been rescued from the flat above by firefighters.

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Eyewitnesses said the fire appeared to be coming from one of the fryers in the shop.

Hayley Simpson, from March, said: "I was walking passed the caf� shortly after the fire started. At first there was only a small amount of smoke but it spread incredibly quickly and within five minutes there was smoke everywhere.

"I overheard a woman that was working in the shop tell somebody it came from an oven."

Firefighters entered the building, then retreated and smashed the front windows of the shop in order to tackle the fire from the pavement.

Crews from March, Chatteris, Whittlesey and Wisbech are at the scene.

The next door hairdressers' was evacuated and staff removed stock and chairs from the building.

Flats above the building were also evacuated.

Smoke has been billowing across the town.

Four firefighters wearing breathing apparatus are tackling the fire using two hose reels and two dry powder extinguishers.

One passer by who did not wish to named said: "The place was looking great and they served really good food.

"They are nice people and it's such a shame that this has happened to them, especially in this current economic climate."

Fish and chip shop owner Elizabeth Shepherd speaks to a police officer and fire fighter at the scene. 0178BP609

Picture: BRIAN PURDY

Mrs Shepherd with former owner and brother-in-law David Bearman. 2499PU209

From left to right: Mrs Shepherd with daughter-in-law Jenny, granddaughter Fiona and Mr Bearman, shortly after she took ownership in February. 2501PU209

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