Bridal shop owner left devastated by blaze

Jenny Hollowood-Smith in her fire destroyed wedding dress shop in Farington
Jenny Hollowood-Smith in her fire destroyed wedding dress shop in Farington

A wedding dress shop owner has told how an ‘horrendous’ fire has destroyed 60 dresses and left the ceiling of her beautiful shop falling down.

Jenny Hollowood-Smith, who opened the Personal Touch Bridal Boutique shop in Farington just 18 months ago, woke up to discover a blaze had devastated her shop last week.

She said: “I was in London visiting friends.

“My friend sent me a text with a photograph the morning after the fire, and I could see the firemen, and then I saw my shop.

“I couldn’t believe it. I started ringing round the fire stations.

“I managed to speak to a fireman in Leyland who said he was just going out to the scene, so he rang me back when he got there.

“I cut my trip short and came straight back to Leyland. It was worse than I expected.

“I’m devastated. I’d spent ages making the front of the shop all pretty.”

Six fire engines attended the scene on Preston Road in the early hours of Tuesday morning last week, which caused the roofs of two upstairs flats above the shop and a takeaway to collapse.

The accidental blaze started in the flat above the wedding dress shop, and there was nobody there at the time.

It caused the ceiling above the shop to give way, and smoke and water damage has also affected the two neighbouring flats, those above the China Star takeaway and Salon 7 Hair.

Jenny said: “The front of the shop has all been damaged, and about 50 or 60 sample dresses, wedding dresses and bridesmaid dresses, have all been ruined by smoke and water damage.

Jenny added: “Luckily the bridal dresses which were on order were wrapped up in the back, so I can only thank God for that.

“I was dreading telling those poor brides that their dresses were ruined.

“They’re at my house now.”

She added: “I’ve only had the shop for 18 months and it was going well.

“I don’t know what will happen next; I need to deal with the insurance firm.

“I was planning on closing over Christmas and opening again in the New Year, but I haven’t got a clue now when I’ll be able to re-open. It’s horrendous. It’s such a mess.

“You can see the sky from inside my shop; the ceiling’s gone at the front.”

- For more on this story, see this week’s Leyland Guardian.