Bristol business owners lost everything in fire

Fire damaged Strachan and Henshaw site
Image caption The fire at the Strachan and Henshaw began on 3 May

Up to 50 business were destroyed in a huge fire at an industrial unit.

Many owners said they had lost their livelihoods and were struggling to pay bills after the blaze at the Strachan and Henshaw building in Speedwell, Bristol on 3 May.

Police and the fire service have still not been able to get inside the structure as it is too dangerous.

Some affected owners at the site said they did not have individual insurance, and have "lost everything".

Michael Dubique, owner of The Bristol Sofa Doctor, said it had "been hell".

"Nobody in the unit knows where to go. Nobody is helping us or giving us information. The landlord is not doing anything for us."

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Media captionPolice said the fire is still being treated as suspicious

Jason Pittaway, owner of Autotech Vehicle Services, said it had been a "massive nightmare" and he had "lost everything".

"You've lost more than just your business and your earnings. It affects your personal life at home.

"You want to put food on the table, but you can't do that now, so I'm relying on my wife's salary to cover."

The council, emergency services and environmental health officers updated business owners at a meeting on Wednesday.

Image caption Jason Pittaway said he had "lost everything"

Avon and Somerset Police said the building had now been handed back to the owner, Douglas Homes.

They added an internal investigation of the structure had not yet begun because it was not possible to get officers with sniffer dogs inside due to health and safety concerns.

Police said the fire was still being treated as suspicious.

The BBC has approached Douglas Homes for a comment.

Image caption Michael Dubique said business owners had been given no information
Image caption Police have still not been able to investigate inside the structure as it is too dangerous

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