15-12-01-2219NE06A Bourne Mill Antiques Centre.jpg
Firefighters inspect the damage at the Grade II-listed Bourne Mill Antiques Centre. Image courtesy Eagle Radio.

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The blaze broke out around lunchtime on Tuesday, November 24, in the roof of the Grade II-listed 17th century mill, destroying the top floors of the five-storey building in just a few hours.

Some 40 firefighters battled to save the building as dramatic footage on local news feeds showed flames and plumes of smoke billowing into the sky.

The mill, which straddles a tributary of the River Wey, is described as being "one of the oldest" in Surrey and the "longest continuous site of business in Farnham".

It is not yet known what caused the blaze but reports suggest an electrical fault.

Dealers' Stock

The extent of the damage to dealers' stock is not as detrimental as first thought, with many antiques saved. However, water damage to the building from fire hoses had been significant. A structural assessment of the building and investigation into what happened is underway.

David Myers, owner of the centre, told The Surrey Advertiser: "We have builders and scaffolders coming in early next week. There is a huge clean-up taking place, with dealers removing stock. Then we can work on restoring the inside of the building."

His son, Ben Myers, also told the local paper: "The majority of the antiques have been saved thanks to the workmanship of the firefighters… even while the fire was going on firefighters were in there protecting the antiques, furniture and paintings."

Asked about the longer-term plan, Ben Myers said: "I think at some point in the near future we could need volunteers to help the 79 different dealers remove their stock. The recovery process could take anywhere between two to six months, it's impossible to say at the moment."