The Market Rasen community has pulled together with ‘overwhelming’ acts of kindness to get Mattu’s Premier Store re-opened just over 24 hours after a devastating blaze.
In the early hours of Friday morning (May 24) a huge fire engulfed the Union Street building home to Mattu’s, Colebrook School of Dance and several residential flats.
Jinny Mattu, whose family has owned the shop for the past 25 years, described the incident as a ‘massive shock’ and a ‘double punch to the gut’, after a burglary at the store just last month.
But Jinny said he has been left ‘overwhelmed’ by everyone’s generosity - including Richard Starbuck who has allowed the family to set up their shop in his former Starbucks bakery, and Gill Scuffham who donated a till from her former Forget Me Not florist shop.
Jinny said: “It’s just a massive shock.
“We just had a burglary on the second of April, then this happened.
“It’s a double punch to the gut.
“It was about 3.30am when we got the call the alarm was going off, and we were there until 9.30 at night.
“We couldn’t really leave - we had to make sure everything was okay to the point we could safely go home and not worry anything else was going to happen.
“They’ve cordoned it all off now.
“The investigators were happy to sign it off and say it’s okay as it is.
“We can’t go in there because it’s structurally unsafe.
“Starbucks across the road have given us the go ahead to move into their vacant shop.
“He rang at 7am on the day of the fire saying the shop is there for you.
“Thanks to him we’ve been able to carry on, not as normal, but have the shop open to the public.
“We opened the following day.
“We had a few bits [that were not damaged by the fire], we’ve been back and forth to the cash and carry.
“The regulars are still coming in to the shop and we’ve put a note up on the main shop door saying come over to Starbucks.”
Jinny said former Queen Street florist Forget Me Not offered a till after his family put an appeal on Facebook.
Jinny said: “She very kindly donated it.
“It’s taken something like this to realise how much people have got your back, it’s overwhelming.
“We’d like to say a massive thank you to the fire and rescue services and anyone who has offered their help or given their help.
“It’s been a chaotic few days.”
Jinny said he did not envisage recovering from the disaster until next year at the earliest.