Burnley takeaway owner fears for future after arsonists strike

Zahid Sharif outside his gutted takeaway

Zahid Sharif outside his gutted takeaway

First published in News This Is Lancashire: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A TAKEAWAY owner fears for his family’s future after his business was engulfed in flames following an arson attack.

Firefighters were called to Hurtley Street, Burnley, following reports of the takeaway and four neighbouring derelict properties on fire.

During a six-hour operation, involving around 20 crew members, the fire service battled to contain the fire and stop it spreading through the attics to other neighbouring properties.

Two crews from Burnley and Nelson attended the scene along with an aerial platform each from Hyndburn and Morecambe.

The fire service said the fire was started in the derelict property adjoining the takeaway and the incident was being treated as suspicious.

The business is the only occupied building on the row of houses. Residents said there had been problems with people breaking into the empty homes.

After being notified by the police shortly after the fire broke out at 6.30am on Saturday, takeaway owner Zahid Sharif, 35, rushed to the business he has run since 2004 to assess the damage.

The dad-of-three, who employs three people at ‘Sharif’s Takeaway’, said: “I’m very fearful for my family’s future now because this is the only way that I can provide for them.

“There have been more and more problems in this area since the council boarded up the other properties.

“Every week people start fires and they have targeted my business and my wheelie bins many times before.

“I think that the council should have knocked them down four years ago when they first boarded them up because it has been a great concern for me for a while and now look what has happened.

“I feel so distressed by this and I have no idea how I’m going to care for my family.”

A section of the road and surrounding streets were cordoned off by the fire service whilst the clean-up operation was underway.

The shop was also boarded up, but would-be thieves kicked in part of the door overnight on Saturday.

Burnley station manager Steve Morgan, who was in charge of the operation, said: “We arrived on the scene shortly after 6.30am after receiving reports of a fire affecting five properties.

“The first officer on the scene very quickly realised that this was a major fire and dealt with that accordingly.

“Extra pumps were called for from Nelson and also other equipment from Blackburn and Morecambe.

“Our primary objective was to stop the fire spreading down the street through the roof spaces.

“The way these houses are built means that it’s very easy for a fire to spread through the roofs and the oxygen gets sucked in to feed the fire.

“We managed to contain the fire and then worked back down the street towards the takeaway.

“Severe damage was caused to three of the properties.”

Comments (12)

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10:16am Mon 2 Jun 14

Izanears says...

Just a thought, but in an area where there are a lot of empty properties, how can a business support the owner and 3 staff?
Just a thought, but in an area where there are a lot of empty properties, how can a business support the owner and 3 staff? Izanears
  • Score: 9

10:21am Mon 2 Jun 14

zabby says...

Investigate
Investigate zabby
  • Score: 9

10:52am Mon 2 Jun 14

woolywords says...

Izanears wrote:
Just a thought, but in an area where there are a lot of empty properties, how can a business support the owner and 3 staff?
Easily done! If you have a decent business model and product(s) of good quality, that people want.
My local chip shop, for example; only opens for a few hours each day; never on weekends and yet, the poor man can't make chips fast enough for demand. People are content to wait or change their orders to suit what is available but never walk out, with nothing.
I have to wait in the queue, for my two fish, as he cooks a dozen, and yet, to my amazement, all are sold, before they can finish frying.
So to suggest that a shop, in a run down area, cannot make money, is a complete fallacy. Let's hope that he has the financial acumen and sheer tenacity, to tough it out until the area regenerates.
And let's face it, sitting on a wall, stuffing your face, with whatever, is what many a child loves to do, let alone us adults.
[quote][p][bold]Izanears[/bold] wrote: Just a thought, but in an area where there are a lot of empty properties, how can a business support the owner and 3 staff?[/p][/quote]Easily done! If you have a decent business model and product(s) of good quality, that people want. My local chip shop, for example; only opens for a few hours each day; never on weekends and yet, the poor man can't make chips fast enough for demand. People are content to wait or change their orders to suit what is available but never walk out, with nothing. I have to wait in the queue, for my two fish, as he cooks a dozen, and yet, to my amazement, all are sold, before they can finish frying. So to suggest that a shop, in a run down area, cannot make money, is a complete fallacy. Let's hope that he has the financial acumen and sheer tenacity, to tough it out until the area regenerates. And let's face it, sitting on a wall, stuffing your face, with whatever, is what many a child loves to do, let alone us adults. woolywords
  • Score: 24

12:10pm Mon 2 Jun 14

AlanPeter01 says...

Well said woolywords.

People should not be quick to judge. The article clearly says the fire was started in neighbouring properties and NOT in the takeaway. Someone who has been there for 10 years must of been doing something right. I travel over 3 miles to get my food sometimes so one would assume that is the case with why this place had decent food and good customer base. Let's not forget the council have had properties boarded up for years now and they should get a move on rather than attracting these sorts of unfortunate attacks.
Well said woolywords. People should not be quick to judge. The article clearly says the fire was started in neighbouring properties and NOT in the takeaway. Someone who has been there for 10 years must of been doing something right. I travel over 3 miles to get my food sometimes so one would assume that is the case with why this place had decent food and good customer base. Let's not forget the council have had properties boarded up for years now and they should get a move on rather than attracting these sorts of unfortunate attacks. AlanPeter01
  • Score: 13

2:27pm Mon 2 Jun 14

timeforcommonsense says...

AlanPeter01 wrote:
Well said woolywords.

People should not be quick to judge. The article clearly says the fire was started in neighbouring properties and NOT in the takeaway. Someone who has been there for 10 years must of been doing something right. I travel over 3 miles to get my food sometimes so one would assume that is the case with why this place had decent food and good customer base. Let's not forget the council have had properties boarded up for years now and they should get a move on rather than attracting these sorts of unfortunate attacks.
Maybe not, but it is remarkably reminiscent, right down to the photograph, of an incident some 10 years ago when I guy I worked with was pictured in front of his burnt out grocery store. He later confided in other people that the business had been failing and he had paid to cook the books, and the stock, and the property. It is not beyond the stretch of the imagination that somebody would do such a thing and what better way to deflect the blame than to start the fire in an adjoining derelict building which anyone can have access to.
[quote][p][bold]AlanPeter01[/bold] wrote: Well said woolywords. People should not be quick to judge. The article clearly says the fire was started in neighbouring properties and NOT in the takeaway. Someone who has been there for 10 years must of been doing something right. I travel over 3 miles to get my food sometimes so one would assume that is the case with why this place had decent food and good customer base. Let's not forget the council have had properties boarded up for years now and they should get a move on rather than attracting these sorts of unfortunate attacks.[/p][/quote]Maybe not, but it is remarkably reminiscent, right down to the photograph, of an incident some 10 years ago when I guy I worked with was pictured in front of his burnt out grocery store. He later confided in other people that the business had been failing and he had paid to cook the books, and the stock, and the property. It is not beyond the stretch of the imagination that somebody would do such a thing and what better way to deflect the blame than to start the fire in an adjoining derelict building which anyone can have access to. timeforcommonsense
  • Score: -6

2:46pm Mon 2 Jun 14

AlanPeter01 says...

@ Timeforcommonsense..
..

Like I said we should not be quick to judge, I think you are painting everyone with the same brush and judging a book by its cover.

am flabbergasted you think that is the case BUT everyone is entitled to an opinion.
@ Timeforcommonsense.. .. Like I said we should not be quick to judge, I think you are painting everyone with the same brush and judging a book by its cover. am flabbergasted you think that is the case BUT everyone is entitled to an opinion. AlanPeter01
  • Score: 3

3:33pm Mon 2 Jun 14

Truth will out says...

"Every week people start fires and they have targeted my business and my wheelie bins many times before"

Given the level of support from the authorities that this man appears to be getting, perhaps Burnley Council will give him a break on his business taxes.

Not likely. It's a one-way street when it comes to getting value for your taxes.

If and when he has to close this business, expect the Council to issue a statement scratching their heads as to why they can't seem to re-generate derelict areas.
"Every week people start fires and they have targeted my business and my wheelie bins many times before" Given the level of support from the authorities that this man appears to be getting, perhaps Burnley Council will give him a break on his business taxes. Not likely. It's a one-way street when it comes to getting value for your taxes. If and when he has to close this business, expect the Council to issue a statement scratching their heads as to why they can't seem to re-generate derelict areas. Truth will out
  • Score: 6

5:54pm Mon 2 Jun 14

gazzandste says...

Zahid never mentioned if he was insured or not. Hope you are, and start up a great takeaway business again. good luck in the future.
Zahid never mentioned if he was insured or not. Hope you are, and start up a great takeaway business again. good luck in the future. gazzandste
  • Score: 3

6:07pm Mon 2 Jun 14

golazzo says...

This business was due to close and they had a offer on the table for compulsory purchase order.

I find this a little bizarre.
This business was due to close and they had a offer on the table for compulsory purchase order. I find this a little bizarre. golazzo
  • Score: 8

7:22pm Mon 2 Jun 14

It's a spade! says...

Any well run business will have insurance. If it didn't then it wasn't a well run business was it?
Any well run business will have insurance. If it didn't then it wasn't a well run business was it? It's a spade!
  • Score: 6

10:20pm Mon 2 Jun 14

glossopkid says...

I love the food at Tis place. What a shame😕
I love the food at Tis place. What a shame😕 glossopkid
  • Score: 3

12:16pm Tue 3 Jun 14

HelmshoreMan2010 says...

Izanears wrote:
Just a thought, but in an area where there are a lot of empty properties, how can a business support the owner and 3 staff?
Takeaways do deliver up to 5+ miles remember, why not get cheap rent on a run down block?

Hope you get it sorted fella!
[quote][p][bold]Izanears[/bold] wrote: Just a thought, but in an area where there are a lot of empty properties, how can a business support the owner and 3 staff?[/p][/quote]Takeaways do deliver up to 5+ miles remember, why not get cheap rent on a run down block? Hope you get it sorted fella! HelmshoreMan2010
  • Score: 1

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