Business owner left heartbroken after vandals break into new cafe and set off fire extinguishers

A cafe owner has vowed it will be business as usual after an attack by vandals left his kitchen coated in fire extinguisher residue.

Wednesday, 20th May 2020, 7:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th May 2020, 11:31 am

Corey Longstaff, who runs CL’s Diner in Middle Street, Blackhall, arrived to work this morning, Tuesday, May 19, to find a broken window and the entire kitchen coated in thick white dust.

“I found it when I came in to start work at 8am,” he said.

“It was absolutely heart-breaking. I have put all my savings into this business.”

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Corey Longstaff outside CL's Diner

A check of the premises’s CCTV footage revealed what had happened. The footage has since been handed over to police.

Now Corey is offering a £1,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of those responsible for the attack on his livelihood.

And he has pledged that the business will be open for business as usual tomorrow.

“Someone has smashed the back window – I have it on CCTV – then they have set two extinguishers off and sprayed the foam through the window,” he said.

Corey washing equipment at the rear of the premises

“It has covered the whole kitchen.”

The vandals had not broken into the premises and had not stolen the extinguishers from the cafe, said Corey.

“They have brought them with them,” he said.

“They have passed them over the wall, pulled the pins out, smashed the windows and set them off, then thrown the extinguishers back over the wall and run away. jumped over the back wall, smashed the window out and sprayed the contents around.”

Corey Longstaff

Corey only opened CL’s Diner a couple of weeks ago and is determined not to be deterred by what has happened.

“It is a family-run business – there are just family members who work here – and there are 15 of us working in the shop to put things right, so hopefully we will be back up and running tomorrow,” he said.

Anyone who has any information on the attack can contact Corey on 07795 383 112 or Durham Constabulary on the non-emergency number 101, quoting incident reference CRI00267733.

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