Dales firms in ruins after horror blaze

A FIRE ravaged three Matlock businesses in the middle of the night – leaving their owners to pick up the pieces.

The blaze started at Dale Opticians, in Dale Road, shortly after midnight on Thursday then spread to Chubb and Co Solicitors and Stones Restaurant.

The restaurant was half way through a major redevelopment to add an extension.

Restaurant owner Jade Himsworth said: “It could have been a lot worse.

“We’ll come back from this with a bigger, brighter Stones.”

John Southgate, who owns Dale Opticians, arrived at work as usual on Thursday morning to find it boarded up.

He said: “I didn’t know anything when I arrived.

“There were builders at work downstairs and they told me what had happened.”

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service said the blaze – which was finally put out at about 3am – is believed to have been caused by a faulty heater.