‘I lost everything today…’ the human cost of massive blaze at self-storage warehouse ‘being treated as deliberate’

Local residents and businesses have seen their livelihoods ruined after a devastating blaze at a self-storage warehouse in Stockport.

The fire, which is being treated as ‘deliberate,’ broke out at the Armadillo Self Storage Unit on Earl Road in Cheadle at around 1 am in the early hours of this morning (Saturday).

A major incident was declared after 130 firefighters were drafted in to tackle the flames, which sent plumes of smoke billowing over Cheadle and Handforth.

READMORE:Massive blaze at Stockport self-storage warehouse ‘being treated as deliberate’

Bosses at the facility revealed this afternoon there had been ‘significant destruction of the building and most contents.’

Artisan spirit brand ambassadors Dipple Tipple and Co said they had lost everything but their van, laptop and some tablecloths in the blaze.

The business’ office was located inside the building, and they had purchased two storage units at the facility.

130 firefighters were drafted in to tackle the blaze

In a post on the company’s Facebook page, they wrote: “We Tipplers are devastated that our two storage units and office are located here.

“We have lost all but our van, laptop, some square readers and tablecloths. We are unable to trade online as one of the units was licensed to do this.

“We haven’t lost our Tippling spirit, so it will take some time to reassess and rebuild.

“Onwards and upwards.”

In a later post, they added: “My heart goes out to all those who have lost precious possessions and to fellow business owners with office and storage units here.

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“We are unable to trade for the time being.”

One woman commented on the Manchester Evening News’ Facebook page saying she had ‘lost everything’ in the fire.

“I lost everything today I even don’t have enough clothes for my kids,” she wrote.

“I was supposed to go there to get some clothes for my newborn but I already lost everything.”

Two major roads, the A555 Manchester Airport Eastern Link Road and A34 Handforth Bypass were both closed as a result of the fire.

A joint police and fire service investigation into the blaze is now underway.

It is believed it may have been started deliberately, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said this afternoon.

“Police were called around 1.40am on Saturday 26 February 2022 to commercial premises on Earl Road, Cheadle Hulme to a report of a fire” the force said in a statement.

Fire crews battling a blaze at Armadillo Self Storage in Cheadle

“Detectives are now treating the fire as a deliberate ignition and an investigation is underway.

“Anyone with information should contact police on 0161 856 9790 or 101 quoting incident 292 of 02/26/22. Alternatively, details can be passed via our LiveChat at www.gmp.police.uk or via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 .”

No one is believed to be inside the building Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said, but a spokesperson said crews had not yet been unable to carry out a thorough search due to the ferocity of the fire.

The Big Yellow Family Self-Storage group, of which Armadillo is a part, said no staff members were on-site at that time and that they were “not aware of any customers on-site.”

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However, they said there had been ‘significant’ damage to the building and ‘most of its contents’ and apologized to customers over the ‘distressing’ incident.

“We can confirm there has been a fire at Armadillo Self Storage on Earl Road in Cheadle which started around 1am this morning,” they said.

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“There were no staff members on site at that time and we are not aware of any customers on-site.

“The store is closed while Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue and the Police continue to deal with the incident.

“We are very grateful for the efforts of all the emergency services.

“At this stage, the cause of the fire is not known but we now understand there has been significant destruction to the building and most contents.

“We will provide updates once we know more. Customers should not attempt to visit the store.

“We sincerely apologize to all customers affected and will be contacting them directly with regular updates as soon as we can.

“We know this will be a difficult time for all our customers and that some of the possessions stored with us can never be replaced, which is why we are so distressed this incident occurred.

“We will work with insurers to manage our customers’ contents claims as quickly as possible.”


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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