Billings & Edmonds fire probably started by a rough sleeper in the doorway 

Image above: Billings & Edmonds, Chiswick High Rd

Evidence of accelerant found by forensic examiner

The fire which burnt out the school uniform shop Billing & Edmonds in June was started outside the shop, in the doorway, probably by a rough sleeper.

Owner Ranjan Kumar told The Chiswick Calendar a forensic examiner employed by their insurance company had found the fire started on the doorstep in the external area using some sort of accelerant.

The recessed doorway had offered a bit of shelter from the rain to rough sleepers who have used it to sleep in.

The company has submitted a planning application to Hounslow Council for a new shop front at 112 Chiswick High Road.

As well as replacing the fire-damaged shopfront the new design will see the entrance to the shop moved to the centre of the property, which the applicant says will be in keeping with neighbouring commercial properties Angie’s and SK:N.

Centring the shop’s entrance, the applicant says, will make the exit route safer for the shop and the upstairs residential property in the event of an emergency.

The applicant adds the new door layout would ‘eradicate the potential for the inset doorway to be used as shelter for the unfortunate homeless people that have previously used this area to sleep’.

Image above: Billings & Edmonds, Chiswick High Rd immediately after the fire

Billings & Edmonds still trading above Chestertons

Billings & Edmonds has three other stores in Harrow, Eton and Bromley and have catered to Royal Family in the past. Princess Margaret and Princess Elizabeth were fitted with their outfits from the company for their home schooling in the 1930s. Prince William and Prince Harry’s uniforms were also supplied by them when they went to Eton.

Chiswick’s branch was opened in the 1990s, catering for prep and pre-prep schools in the area.

Since the fire they have been trading in space above Chestertons estate agents at 155A Chiswick High Rd.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Chiswick resident Alice D. Cooper talks of the “enormous honour” of being inducted into Rugby Hall of Fame

See also: Last chance to comment on boundary changes which will see Chiswick moved into new consituency with Hammersmith

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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