Camp chip shop owners still recovering from St Albans blaze

Flashback to the scene of the major fire at Camp Fish and Chips, St Albans. Picture: Laura Bill

Flashback to the scene of the major fire at Camp Fish and Chips, St Albans. Picture: Laura Bill - Credit: Archant

The owners of a St Albans chip shop are still recovering in the wake of a devastating fire which tore through their business in the summer.

A blaze broke out in the kitchen of the popular Camp Road fish and chip shop on Sutton Road at 8.24pm on Saturday July 13, causing a huge amount of damage to the shop and residential flat above.

Marten and Cynthia Chen have since set up a new chip shop on Vesta Avenue while they continue to battle with their insurance company over their business payout.

There were already plans in place to open another restaurant before the fire, but the Camp Road blaze forced them to relocate to the other site immediately.

Cynthia Chen said that the family are having to live with their uncle at the moment which is further away from her children's school.

She said: "There is a lot of damage to our home. It is all smokey and wet from the rain. We cannot live there. There are two big holes in the ceiling in the two boys' rooms."

She added that the insurance company has agreed to pay for the property side of the insurance but not the business part, but the Chens said they are hoping to move back into Camp Road in about six months time.

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The local community has been very supportive with many customers and neighbours expressing concern for the progress of the family since the fire.

A crowdfunding page was set up by a member of the Fleetville community to offer a gift to help the Chens through this difficult period.

The JustGiving page received many kind comments from well-wishers inluding: "I've been using the shop for 36 years and the sooner it's all back the better. Well done for organising the support."

Another said: "Best of luck getting your lives back on track. Can't wait until you're serving your amazing fish and chips again."

The page raised £1,739 from 62 supporters but the Chens asked for the page to be closed down early.

Cynthia said: "We feel so proud to be part of the Camp community. We will definitely do something to thank them when we re-open."