|| Fire caused an estimated £7,000 worth of damage at two town centre shops on Monday night. The outbreak spread from the soft furnishings shop of Berwick James Lowe in Hallgate to the next-door premises of Harry Mayall, decorator.
At Lowe's, the fire started in a ground floor office and carpets and other house furnishings were badly damaged. At Mayall's wallpaper valued at £400 was damaged. The alarm was raised by Mr. Harry Wright, licensee of the Bricklayer's Arms, lower down Hallgate, who spotted the flames while stood at the bar of his public house.
Mr. Berwick Lowe, 32, former Conservative member of Wigan Town Council, said he was called from his Shevington home on Monday night and told that his shop was on fire. After examining the debris on Tuesday morning, he estimated the damage at £7,000.
Mr Lowe, who has another furnishings shop in Southport, added: "I hope to hire a hall as soon as possible to carry on with my business. And I hope to be back to normal in three weeks."
Despite the damage at Harry Mayall's shop, business was as usual on Tuesday.
Mr. Lowe said later that he was moving to temporary premises at 13-15 Wallgate.