Pizza shop damaged by fire just two weeks after owner bought business

A fire has destroyed a shop which the owner had ‘sunk all his money into’.

Monday, 12th August 2019, 5:21 pm

At about 5.30am yesterday, emergency services were called to a report of a shop on fire at Peter Lee Cottages, in Wheatley Hill.

Fire crews tackled the blaze for more than an hour at the Pizza Nova take-away.

The owner, Yousef Hassan, bought the shop just two weeks ago from the previous owners, who had been running the business for over 12 years.

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Pizza Nova take away, Wheatley Hill
Pizza Nova take away, Wheatley Hill

Standing outside the fire damaged shop, he said: “There’s nothing to say. Everything is gone.

“This was my first business.

“I sunk all my money into the place and it was meant to be something for the future.

“I can’t believe it’s all gone.”

Fire crews were tackling the blaze for over an hour

The 23-year old, from Middlesbrough, had hoped to continue trading from the shop as a pizza take-away and said that he is working with the fire investigation unit to find out the cause of the blaze.

A spokesperson for Durham Constabulary said: “Officers were called by the fire service at about 5.30am this morning (August 12), following an incident at the Pizza Nova takeaway in Wheatley Hill.

“It is believed suspects have forced entry to the rear of the premises before taking goods and setting it on fire.

“The incident is currently being treated as burglary.”

Police and Fire investigation units are investigating the cause of the blaze

A spokesperson for the County Durham & Darlington Fire & Rescue Service said: “We were called to reports of a building fire at Peterlee Cottages, Wheatley Hill at 5:33am.

“A fire engine from Peterlee and a fire engine from Wheatley Hill attended and confirmed a commercial premises was on fire.

“We used two breathing apparatus, two hose reels and stage two positive pressure ventilation to extinguish the fire.

“Our crews left the scene at 8:36am and there is a joint police/fire investigation to identify the cause of the fire.”