9.30am: IT’S business as usual at the Mercury after a fire in a neighbouring flat.
Smoke began pouring out of the roof of a flat above Wokbox noodle bar in Castle Street at about 3pm yesterday (Thursday).
Buildings in Castle Street and Sheep Market, including the Mercury office, were evacuated and the fire brigade were called.
The centre of Stamford was brought to a standstill as hundreds stopped to watch the blaze.
A total of eight crews turned up to tackle the fire, which was finally put out at about 5pm.
This morning landlord John Regis was clearing the debris from the flat.
He said: “Most of the rooms are okay. The fire started in a cupboard separate from the flat.
“We think it was down to a fridge fault.”
Barman John Walker, 52, lives in the flat but was out at the doctors when the fire started.
He was unable to stay at the flat last night but was given alternative accommodation by the fire service.
Mr Walker has been back to the flat to find his rooms are undamaged, but has no idea of when he will be able to stay there again.
He said: “I need to speak to the landlord to find out whether I can go back or whether I need to find somewhere else.
“There’s not a lot I could have done so I’m not too worried. I am just getting on with it.
“It’s not the best day I’ve ever had but I’m not too phased by it.”