THE OWNERS of a café in Battlesbridge are hopeful they can be back up and running in a few weeks following a fire that has destroyed the building.

Ragmans café in Cromwell House at the Battlesbridge Antiques Centre, Maltings Road burned down in the early hours of Thursday morning.

The owners of the café say the blaze started at around 3:30am and firefighters extinguished the fire at 4:45am.

A team of people are currently clearing the debris from inside the building beside the Antique Arms and Militaria store and are hopeful they can be back open for business as soon as possible.

A member of the team clearing the café said: “We are taking action to make sure we are open within the next couple of weeks.”

The fire is deemed to be an accident and firefighters believe they know the cause.

Essex Fire and Rescue Service released a statement on the blaze, saying: “Firefighters found the fire started on the outside of the building by chest freezer which was connected to a cable reel which had become damaged.

The café centres around a number of shops and stalls within the antiques centre and the damage done was a sad sight for the neighbouring shops.

Tim Clay, 55, a salesman at Curiosities From the Fifth Corner was shocked by the damage that had been done.

He said: “I am really upset the café has been so damaged. They always serve up really nice food and i hope it will open again as soon as possible.

“I arrived here this morning, popped my head round and I was sad to see what had happened. The other places are very lucky.”

Businesses surrounding Ragmans have sustained only some smoke damage however they are still saddened by the event that took place on Thursday.