'Devastating' fire destroys Alstonville business
UPDATE, 1.50pm: CENTURY 21 Plateau Lifestyle Real Estate owner, Noel Outerbridge, has spoken after a fire tore through the back office of his business this morning.
He said he believed it started in a storage area of the building.
"We have a large storage area of archives and folders, that's where it initially started," he said.
"Most of it got heat and water damaged.
"It was devastating, but it could have been a lot worse than what it was, but we are so pleased that no one got hurt and the fire was put out fairly quickly."
He said the fire destroyed the office's new software and furniture.
"It was all insured though, so we are all good," he said.
"There was no signs of forced entry- the firies had to cut and break a glass door to get it open.
"It was unfortunate that it happened, but we were lucky the firies put it out so quickly."
He said, thankfully, the fire didn't spread to the front and main office and staff would work over the weekend to open again on Monday.
"We still have our front office, we have power on back there, and we will have our computers up and running," he said.
"We own number 92 Main St as well, the old National Australia Bank, we will be having new furniture delivered there on Monday."
"Thank you to all who have offered us support."
UPDATE, 10.40am: TWO local business owners were on the scene of a devastating fire in Alstonville's Main Street at 4am.
The building's owner, Richard Campbell, and the owner of neighbouring business RLA Building design, Richard Lutze, were called to the blaze after being notified by local firefighters.
Mr Lutze, who is also the Alstonville Wollongbar Chamber of Commerce secretary, thanked firefighting crews for the "excellent efforts" containing the fire so quickly.
"I'm very grateful that the firies contained the fire so well and it did not spread," Mr ;Lutze said.
"They were great.
"It was fairly well contained and of course the community will get together and give them our full support.
"Richard was devastated a local business has been affected in this way but was happy that the firies were there and contacted him straight away.
"It's a very unfortunate situation for small businesses but when these things happens it's good that a community can get together and support each other."
UPDATE, 10.05am: A NSW Fire and Rescue Spokeswoman has confirmed a fire which broke out at CENTURY 21 Plateau Lifestyle Real Estate overnight has all but destroyed the inside of the building.
"Four crews attended the fire at 1.23am from Alstonville, Ballina and Goonellabah to fight the active fire in the first of five shops," The spokeswoman said.
"Crew in breathing apparatus did an initial search to ascertain where the fire was coming from, crews were in offensive firefighting mode going in.
"Just after 2am they managed to contain the fire to the first shop, and they were venting to clear the room of smoke, then isolated the power and at 3am extinguished the fire completely.
"The inside of the building was 100 per cent smoke, fire, water damaged."
Original story: CREWS from Fire & Rescue NSW's Alstonville brigade rushed to the scene of a fire in the village's main street early this morning.
On arrival,about 1.30am, the crew found a shop in the business district was alight.
Thanks to their quick actions, firefighters at the scene were able to prevent the blaze from spreading to adjoining businesses.
At this stage it is not known how much damage was caused.
Fire & Rescue NSW says crews were on scene until 4am to ensure the fire was fully extinguished.
Police are now investigating.
More to come.