Investigators suspect arson in a fire that destroyed an Armadillo Self Storage facility in Cheadle, England, on Saturday. The blaze broke out at about 1 a.m., and more than 100 firefighters were called to the property on Earl Road in the Stanley Green Business Park. No injuries were reported.
Parent company Big Yellow Group PLC issued a statement this morning indicating that 650 tenants have been impacted. “This is a difficult time for all our affected customers, and some of the possessions stored with us can never be replaced,” company officials said. “We are very saddened that this incident occurred.”
The Greater Manchester Police and Fire Brigade are investigating the incident. No details have been released regarding why they believe the fire was set deliberately. No staff members or customers were on site when the inferno began, Big Yellow officials said.
Among the tenants affected was Dipple Tipple & Co. Ltd., a retail business specializing in handcrafted liqueurs and premium spirits from United Kingdom producers. The company rented an office and two units at the facility. “We have lost all but our van, laptop, some square readers and tablecloths,” the company posted on its Facebook page. “We are unable to trade online, as one of the units was licensed to do this.”
The leasehold property, which had a “balance sheet” value of £3.3 million on Sept. 30, had five years remaining on its lease. “Buildings all-risk insurance is in place for the full reinstatement value with the landlord,” Big Yellow officials said. “We also have insurance [coverage] in place for both our fit-out and four years loss of income.”
Big Yellow Group operates 105 self-storage locations in the U.K. under the Big Yellow Self Storage and Armadillo brand names, with most concentrated in Greater London and Southeast England. The group owns a 20% interest in Armadillo, which has 25 locations. Big Yellow’s total portfolio comprises 6.1 million square feet.