Harrogate fire

There was a massive fire in Harrogate town centre today . I first heard about it from Matt when he called to say he was coming home for lunch, and Prezzo, the pizza restaurant, was on fire. Working in an office at the top of the centre’s skyscraper, Matt had a bird’s eye view of action. A slight smell of burning, reminiscent of summer camping trips, hung around him as I gave him a hug.
All afternoon fire engines screamed past our house. Clouds and clouds of grey and yellow smoke billowed out from that area of town. People emerged from their houses to gaze at the sky and to pass titbits of information on. Sophie and I spent some time leaning on the railway bridge looking into town. We could see the dark plumes of smoke rising behind Dada’s office. Having recently studied ‘the great fire of London’ Sophie needed quite a lot of reassurance Harrogate wouldn’t follow suit. ‘The great fire of London started in a bakery and Prezzo bakes as well,’she warned as I cuddled her up and soothed her troubled brow. Felix reported he could smell the smoke whilst outside doing PE and Jay, Mr Nosy, had scootered past, after school,  to have a look. I wasn’t happy about him being so close to the fire, but neither were the police who kept pushing back the crowd boundaries, as the danger of explosions intensified. 19 fire engines were called into action to help, along with 90 fire fighters. It was a massive operation that continued all afternoon. As I drove past at tea time on my way to the airport, I saw a blackened terrace with gaping holes where windows used to be. Fire fighters huddled in groups and fire engine ladders, black and spindley, leaning over the roofs of the buildings. Everywhere, people stood staring in horrified fascination at the remains of what was a beautiful row of buildings. Luckily no one was killed. I wonder how long it will take for that section of Harrogate to be repaired.

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