Shop rises from ashes

Andrew Ashton and Mitchell Griffiths from Smart and Connected in Poulton who have finally opened following fire
Andrew Ashton and Mitchell Griffiths from Smart and Connected in Poulton who have finally opened following fire

A hi-tech shop hit by fire days before it was due to open has finally opened its doors six months later.

Owners Andrew Ashton and Mitchell Griffiths had a dream to have the first shop on the Fylde Coast to offer totally connected, smart entertainment, security and household goods, but a blaze almost saw their hopes go up in smoke.

After almost completing a major refit the new business Smart and Connected on Chapel Street in Poulton has suffered a devastating fire.
Business partners Andrew Ashton (left) and Mitchell Griffiths survey the damage.  PIC BY ROB LOCK
28-10-2015

After almost completing a major refit the new business Smart and Connected on Chapel Street in Poulton has suffered a devastating fire. Business partners Andrew Ashton (left) and Mitchell Griffiths survey the damage. PIC BY ROB LOCK 28-10-2015

But after six months of hard work the pair have finally got back in business with Smart and Connected in Chapel Street, Poulton.

Mitchell Griffiths said at the time of the £74,000 fire they were devastated.

He said: “We had been working on it since May and were putting in the finishing touches when the fire happened.

“A faulty de-humidifier - which had been left on to dry the new plaster – caught fire and burned for several hours, releasing massive amounts of toxic soot. The de-humidifier burned down to the size of a pineapple.

It was like the inside of a chimney in there

“The fire service arrived and they had to wear breathing apparatus to enter the building.

“We had to describe to them the layout of the building so that they could feel their way around – it was so dense with smoke inside.

“On the day I was out in the street and the lady from the hair dressers nearby, Kahuna, came out to me with a cup of tea because she could see I was in tears.

“It was like the inside of a chimney in there.

“Our team picked up where they left off and started clearing and cleaning the building on December 14.

“We hired industrial cleaning equipment and it took us to just before Christmas just to get rid of the soot.

“It has taken a lot of hard work and tens of thousands of pounds to get back to this point.

“We are elated to have done it and excited to get the showroom open.

“It features a full movie theatre with Dolby Atmos surround, multi room audio and video and a Control4 home automation system which controls powered blinds, curtains, heating, lighting, security and CCTV cameras as well as the audio visual installation.

“The showroom also has a ‘futuristic’ bathroom with waterproof ‘aquavision’ mirror TV, mood lighting, and high end audio system.

“One of the benefits of smart home automation is getting rid of multiple remote control handsets and replacing them all with a simple touchscreen.

“Or clients can control everything from their ‘phone, tablet or PC – including away from the home.”