Fire on Chapel St results in damage and delays

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By Ed Kennedy

A fire caused substantial damage to multiple stores in the Chapel St complex when a blaze broke out on July 4th between Toorak and Malvern rd.

Up to 50 firefighters were in attendance to quell the blaze that begun shortly after 3.15pm and took over an hour to extinguish.

Substantial disruption occurred as a result of the blaze as power was shut off on the block and Police on scene closed the road to traffic between Toorak and Malvern Rd.

The road did not open again until 8pm leaving would-be commuters through the street and surrounding areas to face substantial delays throughout the peak hour period.

Around seven stores were damaged in the blaze, two of which extensively.

Josie Portelli, owner of Superstar Hair and Accessories which was substantively damaged in the blaze said while the fire hit the store hard her business has continued to operate and she hasn’t been deterred.

“We’re still trading off-site but there’s no doubt it has been difficult not only for us but for customers” said Ms Portelli.

“We have customers that were getting married the weekend after the fire and you can imagine the disruption that causes in people’s lives. Even more than that we have customers who have cancer and so for someone with leukaemia the services our store provides can mean a great deal to them.”

“Were we unable to offer them service at all suddenly it could be a very challenging thing for them.”

Ms Portelli has said though the aftermath of the fire has made the return date uncertain she vows the store will return.

“There’s been a lot of damage to the store, but we hope to be back there as soon as we can. We want our customers to know we’re working to getting back as soon as we can, and I can say we will be back.”

After initial concerns the fire could be suspicious subsequent investigation deemed it to have started.


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