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Bangor: Man arrested after Action Cancer shop fire



Bangor: Man arrested after Action Cancer shop fire

BBC Action Cancer CEO Gareth Kirk standing to the right of the frame, with the damaged Action Cancer store in the backgroundBBC

Action Cancer CEO Gareth Kirk is confident they will reopen a store in Bangor

Extensive damage caused to a charity shop in County Down overnight has been described as a “sad loss”.

Police received a report of the fire at Action Cancer’s clothing shop on Market Street in Bangor at about 04:00 BST on Friday.

Gareth Kirk, the charity’s chief executive, said the blaze will have a big impact on its operations.

A man in his 50s has been arrested on suspicion of arson and criminal damage.

The police said the blaze caused “substantial damage” to the shop.

A window had also been smashed on a door at another business close by, while a number of other businesses are assessing damage.

One business owner said they had smoke damage but would still open for trade.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service sent four appliances to the scene during the operation.

‘Sad loss for the charity’

A fire damaged Action Cancer store in Bangor

Action Cancer’s clothing shop in Market Street in Bangor

Speaking to BBC News NI outside the store this morning, Gareth Kirk said the damage was an important loss for Action Cancer.

He said the store was an “important source of income” to allow the charity to deliver services of free breast screening, skin cancer and mental health supports for people with cancer.

“The revenue is very important and so it will have an impact on the charity and that’s a great pity,” Mr Kirk said.

“I’d be really confident, again, we will have a store in Bangor, our boutique store. As to when, I don’t know, these things take time.”

Marie Dargan, owner of Johnston Florists, standing to the right of the frame with flowers behind her

Marie Dargan of Johnston Florists says staff have been helping out with cleaning

Next door to Action Cancer is Marie Dargan’s florist shop.

She told BBC News NI that she first heard of the fire on the news when she was eating her breakfast at 06:30.

“There’s a lot of smoke damage, a lot of water damage, the smell of smoke, but thankfully that’s all there is. I was very, very lucky,” Ms Dargan said.

A smashed shop window and smoke damaged darkened walls with clothes on rails and a police cordon line

Police said there is substantial damage to the shop after the fire

“All the staff have been helping out with cleaning as we go. We have the ventilation going on, the fan and the door open, and just hope for the best.”

Police remain at the scene and are appealing for anyone with information to contact them.

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