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Wednesday 6th October, 2004
Fire rages through Devon shopping village
Firefighters tackle the fire at Trago Mills
Firefighters tackle the fire as thick black smoke floats across the A38
Hundreds of firefighters were sent to tackle what fire chief Paul Young described as 'one of the biggest blazes' he's known in the county for many years. Our cameras were able to capture some of the pictures as thick black smoke bellowed from Trago Mills

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The fire broke out just after 6am and appeared to be restricted to the main building.

The area was closed to non-essential traffic and staff were told to stay away from work.

Black smoke billows from the site
for a photo gallery of the fire

Environmental Health Officers asked people living nearby to stay indoors and keep windows and doors closed as a precautionary measure.

The chief officer of Devon Fire and Rescue Service, Paul Young, said fire teams from all over the county were at the scene.

He said: "All of our efforts are on trying to contain the fire in the area in which it started. The situation is very serious."

Here's a selection from the hundreds and hundreds of comments we received in the 24 hours after the fire:

A from Dartington
Don't forge this is the place that had animals put down when the foot and mouth was on so it would not be quaranteed.

Eddie from Shepherds Bush
What reason is there now to visit Devon? Ah yes, Inn on the Green, forgot about that.

David from Bangor
It sounds like it could be a good place to build a car park.

Mike from Plymouth
#Burn baby burn, TRAGO INFERNO#

dave devon
ive got a wheelbarrow

Steve Weymouth
This place makes Wilkinsons look like Harrods.

Tony W Exeter
When i heard about the fire and drove over i was appauled to see people standing at the small island at the entrance clapping and cheering while the jobless trago staff wept. One man had made a banner. Discusting

Danno, Torqsay
Trago - they did sell a good variety of 'pikes' to the locals

Rich from Plymo
I cant believe it!! I've still got some of those Tokens for the rides and such.. can I get a refund anywhere?!

Matt Hunt from Nabbot
Absolutely Gutted!! I'm 27 and still live at home, where is me Mam going to get my clothes & toileteries from now?! I've got my first date on Saturday!!

Slug from plymouth
if only trago had taken the rest of newton abbot with it.

Andy from Exeter
I`ve never seen so many fire engines in my life! I heard there was around 35 of them. Glad none of the fire crews were injured, but lets be honest, it was a dump!

Mike from Bovey Tracey
Is a great shame to the area! hope they make it through this bad time.....

Mike Hunt from Devon
Well that's that. How am I going to be able to keep my car on the road? Trago was amazing! 5 litres of car oil for 1.99 and the most amazing car air freshers for just 69p! Also my Nan loved the cheap shampoo which could be had for just 99p! Bring back the castle NOW!!!!

Johnners from Torquay
I only shop there and liddl's how am I going to cope and I am soon to be made redundant, how can things get worse?

Waynetta from Broadlands
Can anyone give me directions to a new store called Trago GRILLS ?I'm after an extra-small turquoise shellsuit, 50 litres of Taiwanese leaded paint and Pat Sharpe's Greatest Hits ??

john from ashburton
Never mind I eard there opening another store in CHARD

Phil, Newton Abbot
I'm just glad there weren't any casulties. It would have been horrendous if the store had been open, with severe smoke inhalation effects made worse by the typical customer's propensity to respirate orally.

J Plymouth
I think this is the most entertaining comments forum BBC Devon has ever produced. You guys deserve an award for comedy!

Rob from Exeter
Cheap and nasty place - but then it never pretended to be anything else. The only thing I didn't like was having to hold my breath when I went past some of the customers.

Fimbar from Cork.
Did this have anything to do with Ronseal Fire Lighter Fluid, does exactly what it says on the box.

Andy Torbay
I saw the flames from Dainton Golf club after finishing hole 16 ,I would like to ask if the asbestos constitutes a natural hazzard as my last two holes were both under Par and I have put in an official complaint.

PC Plod from Paignton
Ello, ello ello. I hope the big intimidating cardboard cutout of my fellow work collegue has not been burnt in the fire, or there'll be trouble, you hear!

Jemma Haley from Bow
My mum phoned me when it was happening - we are both so upset. Our weekends will be uneventful from now on. Thinking of those crispy animals x

Paul From Plymouth
Some quality comments made us all laugh!!!

The Beast from Bodmin
I hopes all those lil' farm animals is okay. I's used to love poppin up there for a bite to eat!!

Alan from Exeter
Someone I know, it wasn’t me honestly, once bought a CD from there called something like, Manuel de la Atrocious sings the greatest hits of Miguel de Constipatio. A collection of timeless love songs…Hahaha! The Pope bought his socks there apparently, well they were holey. Hahaha I suspect the cause of the fire was all the nylon and polyester in there, well with that much static electricity, it was bound to happen one day. Hahaha I’m funnier than a lorry load of monkeys me! Yes!

Rich, Exeter
Not that I mean to gloat or anything, but the place was a distasteful abomination. It really did deserve to burn down, although the frequency of fires at the various Trago 'establishments' should surely be investigated. Most of the stock was tawdry cheap tat, and most of the staff were unfortunate to have to work there. I would dearly love the site to be regenerated into something productive, but alas, I doubt it. More of the same underpriced non-essential useless imported rubbish. Ironic, when you consider the policitcal stance of the owner and his drive for 'Britishness' (as long as you're English, white and heterosexual) that his business should be built on the cheapness of the imported shoddy goods.

Isaac from Newton Abbot
Given Bruce Robertsons extremely strong views on the EU and the French and the fact that South West Water is now under French control, he should have refused the Water that the Fire Service poured onto his building.

Shaz, Exeter
me kids education will suffer now cos trago is gone. They used to learn so much about ways of world and nature, paticuly as they dont go to school much. me kiddies and me as always had problums gettin threw the turnstiles as we likes our coke and crisps but it was worth it to keep me fella smelin sweetly whith all those desiner after shaves.

Dennis from Teignmouth
Lets face it, the only people who will suffer are the inhabitants of every council estate in South Devon. People with standards stick to Cribbs Causeway. Maybe one day something similar will appear where Trago's shouldn't be anyway.

kieran bromell
its a real shame, i always bought my best clothes from there, they had a great rang of underwear that never shrunk in the wash. i loved to go there of a weekend and touch the peacocks, i guess i will have to wait for the new year to see what it offers.

David from Exeter
To quote Jethro, £5,000,000 of improvements.

Are the fireman still there? The good looking ones

Steve from Pompey
I heard that the fire would have gone out sooner if the firemans water hadn't all been soaked up by the Huggies and Always Ultra.

At long last I can get to golf at stover without queueus of the lower classes obstructing the highway.

I'm devestated I loves the place..... Is there a support group to help me through.. p.s will elton john be doing a song for charity to help the re-building of this wonderland that twas

Dick from Ashburton
I must say the BBC's objective coverage of this tragedy was superb.... well worth the licence fee !!! the pictures of trago burning really made my day

Tristan from Ilsington
I think there are a lot of unfair comments on such a hot topic, from people who wouldn't know a bargain if it jumped up and burnt them on the nose. Trago was fun for all the family and the last thing we need now is a heated debate. Lets get behind the rebuilding project and a celebratory spring barbeque is on the agenda.

Kelly from Watford (previously Torquay)
I'm completely devastated. I moved away from the area because I was spending just too much time & money there - it was my life. I ration myself to just 2 trips a month now - what can I do? Will the leisure park be open before the store at least then I can be close to the place that I love & remember the good times.

Barry Jones- Exeter
This is a great shame, as my day release usually lets me hang out in Trago, with my other friends (patients) and now that this place of joy is no more, I will probably hang out in Burn House Lane.shame on you all...........

Sam G
Please please dont rebuild it..

Kieran London
Gutted it was such a great place ofr DIY supplies Im doing up my flat and now will have to pay top money for materials and tools now. My mate George used to do all his shooping there as well clothes, shoes the lot..its a big loss

Dick from Buckland
I used to love shopping at Tragos, and it always had so many toilets, in fact all of the shops were one. I hope that the wax jackets have been saved, cos i left 15p in the pocket of one i tried on. Also i hear the dictionaries managed to survive the blaze so all of the people on this thread will be able to buy one. Perhaps they should have let it burn after all bonfire night draws near and they could have had a lovely party.

Shelley Burke - Exeter
I see from the Trago Mills website they have not wasted any time in advertising there Fire Salvage Sale

Kevin from Abbotskerswell
Oh no! Where will I buy the coving for my new house? Touch.

Sam for Torquay
I here smoke alarms are going half price .. I have never been happier. It was all junk anyway.

Distraught in Plymouth
For crying out loud, will people stop whinging about everyone taking the mick! The whole place was crap, they didn't even have quality bargains!...guess we'll all have to say "yes to CDS" from no on!

Handy Dave Building Services - South Molton
Can give you a great quote for renovation, and if you have any smoke damaged stock I am sure we can flog it on to my pikey cousins.

Chris from Paignton
We are sorry to hear the sad news and wish all the staff and management a speedy relief from their suffering and a quick return to profitability. Well done firemen and thanks. To all the sad contributors who have no knowledge of spelling or grammar and have nothing to say but spiteful criticism.

Di fromPaignton
Before people send emails, can they please check their spelling? I have read some about Trago Mills and can't believe how bad the spelling is. It is a shame about Trago Mills, but it is not the end of the world, things can be bought just as cheaply from local shops and often the quality is better.

Shaynov, Ukraine
My business is ruined - we shipped 90% of our factories production of Static-powered neon Shell Suits to Trago!

Scott from Callington
The Liskeard one is best - I got a brilliant gold coloured cherub there and a superb pink jumper.

Sally from Liverton
My husband and I were woken just about 6.00 am by unusual popping/banging sounds from outside. We looked out of our bedroom window and saw, silhouetted against the black night sky, 2 of the Trago towers with a backdrop of bright orange/red flames. Clearly Trago was on fire, so we called the Fire Brigade who, by that time, were aware of the incident. We watched from our window as daylight increased and the huge column of smoke could be seen rising from the conflagration. The acrid smell of burning plastic and rubber hung heavily on the air. We were very pleased to learn that no one was hurt in the fire. Does anyone know what happened to the birds and animals that live by the lake and in the compound? Later in the afternoon sunshine, from our window we could see the 2 towers, this time blackened with smoke. The flags still flying, albeit at an acute angle.

Colin, Plymouth
Was the fire a terrorist strike from the Ikea?

Waynetta, Exter
Tis a grate shame - I gets all my kidz stuff there

Simon Plymouth
Went there once and vowed never to go again, do feel sorry if people lost their jobs though. That place was an accident waiting to happen and I don't just mean the oap's attempting to park !

Peter from exeter
poor old trago...i was very fimiliar with the store and its layout.shame it happened. on another note, if anyone has any intrest in buying 500 fake x-mas trees- slighty blackened- then i'll be at marsh barton carboot this sunday.

Stephen from Watford.
Oh No!!! Where am i going to buy my work clothes now and my aftershave.It was the best place for discount on Brut and Old Spice.

Dicky from the north
Is the fire/ smoke damaged stock going on sale soon?

Alan from Exeter
R from Exeter asked: What about the animals ??? Well, as I understand things, they were done to a turn.

Woody of (Malvern)
Trago Mills Newton Abbot saved me fortune on the renovation costs of my home. I wish the team well, and hope that this mess can be sorted out in time to be up and running for Christmas shopping!

Ben from Bishopsteignton
Don't care, Trago was cheap and rubbish, wouldn't have gone there if you'd paid me, all it contained was the stock proper shops couldn't sell in the 80's

Richard Head from Exeter
I always loved Trago Mills and even bought my wifes wedding ring there years ago. The best £3.99 I ever spent. I think we should organise a collection for Mr Robertson and his wonderful staff. Including, of course the friendly security staff, who don't really mean to make you feel like a criminal as you pass by them at the exits.

Nick from Brixham
I'd heard the fire has caused £5million of improvements, I suppose the Charcoal barbeque bricks section will do a roaring trade in the next few weeks

Skippo from plymbo
Theres no where like Trago Mills. 2 more fires and there wont be woohoo!!

Max Sparks from Sparkwell
I am gutted where will I get me pasty on a Saterday now? I luved that place and liked to stroke the animals 2...hope they will find a nice new home and are not suffering from brething in the smoke?

Tommo Paignton
My mates Rob and Simon were about to get jobs there after Bookham moves to China chasing the sheep and lamas in the petting zoo. Actually the wages in China are better than you get at Trago so its done them a favour really.

Steve from Bookham
Where will i get my stylish snazzy cardigans from now? I'm going to have to try harder at work now in order to win the prize one.

Scotty - Plymouth
This has to the be on the only fire that increased the value of the stock. I must admit though, there's a strange attraction here for chav's & janners to find that bargain. I'm devastated by the loss of the CD collection, most of them are collectable in that you've never heard of the artists!

Chris from Bristol
Trago Mills. The only decent thing you could get there was a good fry up of a breakfast. Oh how I shall miss the fried bread.

I'm mostly shocked at the lack of good grammar, real words (eg no1 woz etc)and the amount of people who actually seem to LIKE Trago in this comments section! What on earth is going on? Obviously it is a shame for people working there but the place was awful! Does anyone read the comments Bruce writes in the paper each week? He's a bigot, and it's no great loss, he has two other sites, one not even that far away. Everyone I have spoken to is really pleased the place has burnt down.

Craig from Exeter
I have heard the loss adjusters estimate that the fire has caused £2,000,000 million pounds worth of improvements.

Hermann the tortus from Exeter
i am to go and get my lettis fro tragomill's and i will not eat if i don't get it.. what shall i do necks to get food.sortry to here the bad storey

Ian Hibble from Cardiff
Am gutted to hear about Trago, such good memories of Sundays jostling with grockles and locals alike. Such a shame, I hope they get back up and runnning soon. I've been spreading the word to my fellow Devonians here in Cardiff, it's such a shock to us all.

Rebecca Collings from Exeter
Good, no more cheesy ads on Gemini radio. It is a shame everyone knows Trago Mills. I remember going there for bday parties, the adventure realm is great and the sunflower maze.The whirling bumber boats were my favourite. I dont understand how it could burn down tho with all those water slides there tho. x

Ant from Paignton
Is terrorism suspected ? It was a great place to hide WMDs. oops I spelt everything correctly - sorry !

Mike L - Paignton
Watch out for cheap bags of trago mills charcoal.

Jp from Bovey Tracey

Mary from Essex
Having a permanent caravan at South Brent we often visit Trago and always enjoy the day. Our grand children have wonderful inexpensive fun in the adventure park very good value for money. I will miss it and hope to see it back and thriving soon.

Bob from Tiverton
I can't believe it, Trago was such a breath of fresh air ! I met my wife there on a family day out ! now where are going to spend our anniversaries ? I only hope they rebuild it bigger and better than ever before

Andy Miller from Torquay
I dont know what I am going to do! I am going to be made redundant soon and I rely on Trago for everything we buy -- Clothes, furniture, toiletries, I dont get paid much and its the only place we can go where we can get value for money, please re-open soon.

Phil from Woolicombe
I have plenty of land for those cute animals. I feel sorry that there home has gone especially so close to christmas. poor little dears.

M D from Kenley, Surrey
I am very dissapointed by some of the comments against Trago. We drive down from the big smoke in the pursuit of many a bargain. Hope Mr Trago gets his lighting dept up and running as I need a new fitting for christmas!

Mike L - Paignton
Good job no-one was in there, trying to find the fire exit signs amongst the 'Washing up Liquid', 'Plimsoles', 'CDs-by-people-we-have-never-heard-of' and 'Tights' signs would have been a nightmare.

Mr H from Portsmouth
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I am heartbroken. It was the only shop I could ever get excited about shopping - surpassed only by Bloomingdales Tiffanys for sheer luxury and lusciousness.I totally agree about the underwear. I still sport a pair of nylon pants bought 35 years ago. All is not lost though - there's still Liskeard and Falmouth! P.S. Couldn't see fire but felt a deep spiritual sense of loss early yesterday - now I know why!

shane from Buckland
Where is I gonna buy fake burberry caps and accident damaged bodykits and neons for my corsa now ?

Andrew from Teignmouth
Will the BBC take note of the standard of literacy demonstrated by some of the contributors? Perhaps some form of on-line remedial programme could be offered?

bob, frum plimuff

D from Banbury
I was totally shocked when I heard the news yesterday. Our family visits Devon regularly and we always go to Trago. Don't be so hard on Trago, wish we had somewhere round here with such good bargains. Thanks to the firefighters for all their efforts.

Paula from Plymouth
Such a shame as they always had a great deal happening. Will now have to buy my birdfeeders and seed elsewhere, come back soon.

ashley from ashburton
i was it from ashburton it was that big my mum said that she could see trago on fire

Margaret from Torquay
Still waiting for the blame to be laid at the pro-Europeans door. They've obviously got some taste!

Neil from Devon
I am disgusted to read some of the comments on here, People dont realise what a fire is like. I was a victim of a huge fire in Kingsbridge 3 years ago and lost everything, I was even in my house when the fire started. Pets still died in the business premises unable to get out. Perhaps in future people should be careful what they write on comments!!!!

lexx essex
big up the firemen great job,hope they reopen soon my kids love the place whenever were in devon its the first stop

s from saltash
Oh dear, you will all have to shop at the Liskeard branch now and be treated like common criminals when you leave the store. I'm sorry about the fire and glad no-one hurt. I do agree with many others, the place was an accident waiting to happen.

Martin from Wanstead, LondonLondon
I was told by e mail, here in London, with a photo of the smoke cloud at 8am on the day and this news stayed with me all day. Trago was part of the South Devon I love to come to four or more times a year. No trip, short stay or a weeks holiday was complete without a visit to Trago. The small train, the animals and the store will be missed when I am back in November. Please rebuild asap, look after the animals and the staff, I wish you all good luck for the future. Martin M

Pete from Elbasan, Albania
I am shocked. I love to visit Trago when I am back in Totnes on holidays. Good luck Bruce and all the staff in rebuilding what will surely be an even better store.

Will from Ohio
What a shame to see people showing such lack of sympathy for the loss of others. Where's the kindness? Where's the compassion? If you didn't like it, it's fine that you didn't shop there, but don't applaud their loss.

andrew from workington in cumbria
well done to all the fire men what was there i come from cumbria every year and visit trago what will i do now hope it's up and running soon

Matt from Exeter
I can't say I'm shocked or upset... frankly, places like this, that serve as little more as fronts for their owners medieval political views are simply a haven for all that is wrong in our country... I can only hope there were no non-white, Anglo Saxon, hetrosexual men fighting the fires today, or Bruce might have found his little empire under attack. Bruce 'Disney' Robertson, there.


Garry Essex/Brixham
Wife and I have enjoyed shopping at T/M, but have to say (eerily did so last visit 2 weeks ago)as an Electrical Engineer from what I could see, the place looked quite poorly maintained, and very dangerously laid out without clear or obvious escape routes (obviously fire certificate criteria met, but didn't look good) Good luck to the owner (and the staff and small independants) to rebuild. Perhaps this time they might add TROLLEYS...???

A friend from Australia
A big well done to the hundreds of fire fighters who battled the blaze (my brother being one of them). Although it was not exactly the nicest of places it is a shame for everyone who worked there. If they do decide to rebuild it, I think it would great to get the input of locals concerning the design of the building, and may also open them up to selling better quality items. Thinkof it as a great opporunity to become a little more modern. Best of luck to all the employees too.

cj from brix
Been going to trago forever where is i going to get my stocking filler this year?My best friend took me there 4 my 21st bday prezzy,got me a day pass for all the rides had a ball of a time.Also where are me and my boyfriend going to be naughty if the trains not working.Will the train still b running if the store isn't open?

Darren Crediton
I followed the local news from when the fire first was reported, and apparantly, no animals died. It was certainly a case of "all hands to the decks", I did hear that my local fire station sent a crew. Not since the fire at the firework factory at Uffculme, have so many tenders attended. However, I was somewhat dismayed at the ITV Westcountry News' reporting of the blaze and their linking of the fire, pre-health & safety executive's and all the other relevant bodies' reports into the blaze, regarding anti-European stances. Speculation is not something that is welcomed at times like this, surely.

Howie from Oxford
Isn't it sad that some SICK people use this message board to gloat at a business suffering such a tragedy. Perhaps we will laugh at them if THEIR house catches fire. My best wishes go to the staff at Trago and to the firefighters that risked their lives to contain the fire. I hope repairs will be complete when I next visit.

Zac from Insanity
I thought the fire was next week

D & T B Kent
A favourite 'Aladdins Cave' we visit every year,very sad news,we hope the re-build is undertaken soon,hopefully in time for our next visit.Good Luck Trago!

Reg from Uxbridge (exile from exeter)
Did the saloon door changing rooms survive the blaze? They were a bit dodgy to change in!

Ash - Exeter
It is a great shame that this has happened to a great place. Good cheap clothes, CDs etc. We bought our suite of funtiture there

Simon Birmingham
Trago was not only a good place to shop and pick up student bargains, but it was also a point of reference for me on many long journeys too and fro Plymouth Uni.

Kev from Totnes
I saw it on the way to work this morning. I bought some carpet for my bathroom there, and my mum and sister spent hours in Trago when they come down from up country, I won't know what to do with them next summer without this wonderful retail outlet.

PP from Heathfield
I note that the smoke and fire alarms they sell didn't go off!! Hope all their fascist anti-Europe signs and propaganda burned too. PS Nice fireworks display Bruce

Rachel from Plymouth
shame! ive loved that place ever since i was young, i was nearly in tears this morning when i heard it on RADIO ONE!!! where am i gona go for my bumper pads of paper!?

Ian from Wiltshire
Very sad day for the Suppliers to Trago.Glad to see no one got hurt.But i am sure Trago will rise from the Ashes .Dont forget Liskeard branch is only 30mins away!! Support the Retailer which offers genuine bargains.Watch out for Bigger bargains shortly Smoke damaged goods.

Mark from Liverton
I live in Liverton and was able to see things clearly from across the fields near Benedicts garage. I feel sorry for the many local people who depend on working and shopping there. The many unkind remarks were so un-necessary at a time such as this.

robert from berkshire
what a sad loss of a great store just as chistmas is round the corner,hope they can rebuild it for 2005

Jimmy from Plymouth
My mother is in tears, I don't think she will sleep tonight!!!Where else can she do all her christmas shopping for her 5 grandchildren for a fiver!!!

chris brew from c/o victoria road
my heads chocker. trago mills was boss. is right

Harvey from Hertfordshire
I was working within the vicinity of Trago Mills Newton Abbot from almost the very early days,when the late Mr.Mike Robertson(Founder )was there.I worked in "The Chuck Wagon Cafe" as it was then. It is no longer,but is much bigger now & called Sarah's Restaurant. Anyway-my memories of Trago & the time I spent there will certainly remain with me for ever.And if Mr.Bruce Robertson or anyone who is acquainted with him sees this message-I would like to say I am saddened by what has now happened-but you are strong & very determined just as your dear father was-so am sure Trago Mills Newton Abbot will soon be 'up & running once more'!God Bless you all-Harvey-And please give Mr.Robertson & all involved with Trago your full support & encouragement.Think of all those affected by this tragic incident. God Bless You Bruce-& keep that spirit of zest & eagerness just as your dear father did.

LC from Chudleigh
I never liked going to Trago - it was always too crowded - but those sad people who say they're glad about what's happened are brainless and completely selfish. Suppose it was YOUR business or YOUR job up in smoke? If you've nothing better to do than write in and gloat - do everyone a favour and don't bother.

corinne from brixham
i used to love trago mills, especially the train where me and my boyfriend shared an encounter.

S from Chudleigh
Thank goodness it didn't happen during it was open and noone was hurt. I find it hard enough to find my way in let alone out. A better layout needs to be designed. At least it gave those stuck in the jam on the A38 something to look at though!

Phil from Melksham
Last thing I bought there was a bar-b-q cover - how ironic is that?

E from Swansea
Shockingly the trago fire made it to the news here. Dont ask why!!! I'm only interested as i'm from down there, the most appalling shop ever known affectionately as trago trash!!!

Nigel from Paignton
Big thanks to the staff for letting the fire take hold before calling 999. You've done a public service in making sure the dump got destroyed!!!

matt g from Torquay
when i got to westlands school,i went to the library and saw a thick black cloud of smoke and thought WHAT THE HELL! turned on the radio and heard Trago mills went up. I didnt know what to do exept stair.

steph from herefordshire
sorry to here whats happened have very good memories off trago hope you get it up and running again.All the best

N from Plymouth
What will my brother in law do now ? - He used to drive all the way to Trago from Plymouth just to save 20p on some motoring accessories... I can't think how much he spent on petrol to get there and back !

Tubbs & Edward - Royston Vasey
We know how it feels, our shop burnt down to.. we lost all twelvety of our precious things... It was a local shop for local people...nothing for you here!!!

Lee Hall from Lincoln
I was coming down to Devon this weekend don't think I'll bother now Trago's has burnt down

Vic from Bovey Tracey
There's no where like trago mills, trago mills, trago mills - the songs right now!!! Hope the staff are involved in the rebuild, they could have a turret building speed challenge to restore it to its former glory.

Dennis ,,,Plymouth
A very sad day for trago... Lets just hope Bruce, has listen to his the old days. when he was here. and i reckon, everything will retun to normal, or even better in the furture..look after each other.. and everyone will get though this great tragedy... P.s,,,lets not have any more silly remarks..This kind of tragedy can happed to anyone and familys while you are sleep..

Will in Bradford
Darn i needed to buy a load of cheap cdr's when i got back from uni. Wish i was still working in normans, them guys gunna have an easy time for a while.

Well working at ucz paintball park the damage to trago is really bad.The animals are fine,it was just the main store and take away bits that were affected. UCZ Paintball Park is open as usual

John from Teignmouth
We reguarly shopped at Trago, you pay for what you get. It was a fun place to shop at. If you don't like the place then you have to go there, but why spoil it for the millions that love the place. I say good luck to Bruce and all the staff at Trago and look forward to the day we can return shopping there. To finish well done and thank you to our fantasic Fire Fighters.

J & A from Bideford
We were only shopping there last week with a friend bought lots of bargains. We bought a three piece suite there 15 years ago and it is as good as new. Look forward to shopping there again in the near future.

Michael & Ann Page Selby North Yorkshire
We only mentioned Trago last night on an e-mail to Duncan Warren at Radio Devon, while on holiday in September we bought lots of Christmas items there, we send our best wishes to all the staff and hope for a speedy rebuild, see you all in June.

Steph from somewhere
its wierd every time i have been to a certain friend we always go to trago. a big thank you to all the fire fighters wohooooo keep up the gd work lad and lasses. i hope things get better


Peter from Plympton
I'm not a regular of Trago's (about twice a year) but I do feel sorry for the staff of both the store and the smaller businesses dependant on it. Let's hope that it is up and running before too long. Also may I say a word of thanks to the firefighters and other who stopped the situation any worse.

jess from london
its not fair....i cant belive its gone up in flames i have gone there since i was 1 and now im 14 and its all gone. i hope they get it built up again soon luckily the animals are ok


marc from isle of man
I used to fly over once a month from the isle of man to pick up a bargain, I will never forget the wasps sandwiches and the hairy cakes.

james from dartford
what a shame,

Claire from Lympstone
I told my colleague, Suzy, and she thought i was joking.

Nick H from Newton Abbot
Saw it this mornin at 8 when I got out of my pit. Fire engines kept me awake from 6 onwards. I remember Trago Mills 21 years ago when 40% was destroyed by fire, it was the ideal opportunity for Mr Roberton Senior then to add a further 80% of warehouse onto it. Will this happend now ? Only about 1/4 has gone this time, the area by the Paint, Sports, Stationary, Old Exit is gone, the carpets, furniture etc is effected.

Terry from Exeter
Glad no one was hurt, but i'm also not sad that it has burnt down! It's a blot on the landscape, how they were ever allowed to get away with building such a horrible building god only knows. Be a real shame if they rebuild! goodbye to bad rubbish.

Phil from Honiton
What did happen to those llamas, anyway? Disappeared a couple of years back. Did the foot & mouth get them?

j from paignton
im deeply saddened by this disaster,im a regular shopper to trago mills

dave. london
love going to tragos its so sad

Martin From Weymouth
It wasn't me!! The company I work for supplies paint products to Trago and our company suffered a similar fire in April. Talk about lightning striking twice!Trago supported us while we got back to manufacturing and no doubt we will reciprecate

michelle from luton nr chudleigh
i waz gutted to hear about trago burning down it waz a gr8 place to go to!and i think everybody saying they are glad are being quite selfish because loads of people would have lost their jobs and m8 said she saw about 200 firemen on the scene that is a lot and hopefully they will build it back soon

Paul from Exeter
After working there in the past and experiencing the short-sighted, inept management, where the only thing that matters is money in the till today and corner-cutting at every opportunity seems to be positively encouraged, I can't say I'm either surprised or upset. Perhaps the fire had nothing to do with this corner-cutting, but all I can say is that while working there I often got the idea that money came before all else - including safety.

P Snowball - London
I've no idea how much this will cost to rebuild. It's not going to cheap. Oh well thing like this happen, that's what insurance is for I suppose.

Rich, Plymouth you can get your bin bags from poundland or tesco they do cheap ones!

steve from brixham
will bruce be applying for a euro grant to rebuild it

bob from paignton
hope the policeman who gives the free rides home is ok

I use to by my pencils from here. Have to go to W H Smith now. Hope the spider that was on the first floor in the window got away! M From crediton

Kevin From Exeter
What about the Cardboard Cut-outs of Police officers, they really put me off shoplifting.


Well at least it kept those lazy firefighters busy.

Iain - Torquay
The average spelling ability of the people who have left messages here underlines the average mental ability of thosre who shopped at this overblown dump. It wasnt so much what was sold there as how it was sold. TACKY TACKY.

Pheonix from the flames
At least it gave the firemen something to do other than play pool all morning.

Andy from Exeter
I was planning to go down there this evening. Does anyone know if they're open?

Jayne, Bristol
What a mean-spirited bunch some of you are. People have lost their jobs and you're cracking jokes about how crap the place was! Trago wasn't a palace but at least it employed people - people who are probably wondering how they're going to pay their bills from today.

Nit Totnes
HaHaHA best news I have had in a long time. Not suprised it went up like a light with all the super flammable TAT. Housed inside a MDF Castle!

Martin Newton Abbot
I saw it from my house this morning when off to work with my friend jon:)it looked like rain was cuming for us!!!!!!AAAAAHHHHH

Elliot from Dawlish
My mum lives in Bovey Tracey, is she OK? I haven't heard yet. Is the return counter still there? I don't want this paint I bought, it's dangerous!

Gary from Barry
I managed to get lots of pictures of the fire. It'll be something to tell the kids about in years to come.

Cathy B from Glasgow
I just hope that the handsome man Mike Kay is alright. Please get in touch and let me know.

A from Exeter
I don't know how I am going to cope without Trago. I was planning to go there this weekend for a couple of new outfits. I really liked the quality of the nylon and polyester. Far longer lasting than some designer brands.

Sal from plymouth
What happened to the animals and geese?

Tom from Exeter
Everyone on our caravan park is in mourning. We have all grown up visiting Trago as a family at the weekends. It's going to be an expensive Christmas this year.

Simon from Torquay
Does anybody if there is any counselling available? This is extremely depressing for all the family.

Eric from Exeter
I was looking forward to going there this weekend with all the family. Oh well, looks like we'll have to stay at home and watch telly instead.

Diana - Taunton
What about the animals, can someone let us know?

We have been told that all the animals are safe and well. John (host)

marcus from bovey
is my best friends shop ok he owns newspoint

Griff Exmouth
This has me worried, who is looking after the model railway? I will if required.

Tom from Exeter
Bravo to all those brave firefighters, especially the ones from Exeter. They should be paid more.


wendy from worthing west sussex
heard the bad news from my dad in kingsteignton at 8 o/c this morning - what will we do now when we come to visit???? our favourite place in area burnt down !

Alex & Sophie Ashburton
It's a great tragedy for all it's loyal customers and staff. We hope they will open soon and we look forward to the SALES!

Nolan from Dawlish
The memories!, I can remember falling in an Orange Juice display some 28 years ago when Normans (The food people) was where the toys were until yesterday, in fact the carpet is still sticky. I can also remeber working there as a 16 year old, diving the dumper trucks, painting the building, you had to me and my buddies at one stage to go in on a sunday, and wrapping up the kiddies presents for Santas Grotto! whilst getting high on the helium. The last major fire started in the carpets section when a heater lit up and now the paints! What next? the tiles, they're always a good bargain! Is anyone offering councelling or even somewhere else to go on Sunday. At least you'll be able to park closer to the garden centre.

Denis from Dartmouth
I was only there on Sunday, My wife and me love to go shopping there, I anm very saddened about the whole thing. I hope Mr Trago gets things up and running for exmas.

At trago I bought one of my favourite soft toy dogs and now the shop's ruined! I'm only seven and I liked the train too.

D from Tavistock
Would have done it myself years ago if the lighter they sold me had contained any gas or their matches had not been too damp.

Dave from Chudleigh Knighton
What Fire. Any excuse to get the crowds in.

dave from cambs
shoudn't we say thanks to the firefighters, for all their hard work. WELL DONE TO YOU ALL

Roy from Brixham
This is no suprise to me. I am a retired insurance company surveyor and have always been flabergasted by the lack of risk control shown by some companies. A sprinkler system would have been beneficial in this situation I feel.

James from Exeter
I'm gutted, I got my bed from there and it was a right bargain...where am I gonna get my xmas shopping from now?

S from bovey Tracey
Not at all surprised. i used to work at that same Trago Mills until last July. Place is stupidly laid out, thank god it was early morning. Pray also that they dont rebuild it!

Rachel from Exeter
Well, they obviously didn't learn from the first fire 20 years ago then... Can't say I'm sorry to see the place go. It was in such a state. I always thought of Trago as cheap, tacky and nasty! The new 'Theden' animal park was just about the only good thing they had going for them! What I want to know is...what happened to all the animals?? Does anyone know?

Paul From Heathfield
I saw the fre and smoke at 7.30am, large clouds of black smoke. There were a number of small 'bangs' at about 8AM. I feel sorry for the people that work there, and I hope they fire services managed to save the animals. When it comes to re-building, wouldn't it be nice if the local people were asked for some input on design?

fred from bovey tracey
well i never!!!!!!!!!!

Rupert, Castle Bromwich
What a shame!

Wilma from Exeter
Does anyone know what happened to all the ducks and other animals?

Paul fron Poole, Dorset
We have shoped in Trago Mills on many occasions. Lets hope they rebuild soon as it was an ideal shop for the deals that you can't get elsewhere.

I from Honiton
A sad loss for the region. I feel for the insurer and broker.

N from Brent
Brightened up my day. Best news I have heard in weeks. Hate the place.

Norge the Hampster
i bought my house at trago and i kept escaping and getting lost. now i have a new home from a pet shop in newton abbot. i paid half the price for it and it is totally me proof. though i cant decide if this is a good thing or not.... i dont have a big enough brain. :-(

dave from exeter
the animals are ok ..the future of the larma is in doubt cause it didnt go off!

Rodni Pankesh from Brixham
The place was an architectural triumph!


Dwayne from Crediton
My Nan is gutted as she loved going there. Will have to do something else this weekend.

Jane from Birmingham
Such a shame that something for everyone has been burnt down. We visit Trago regularly whilst visiting family in Bishopsteington

I dont agree think trago is a fantastic place to buy a lot of not needed bits and pieces although i beleive in his anit Euro stance and hope UKIP will help out with rebulding.

Hilary Kleckner, Pennsylvania
I also hope the animals are okay. I was just there in August and now I will have to wait until they rebuilt for my discounts on our next visit.

J from Exeter
I heard that all the stock was destroyed. There must have been nearly £20 worth of damage!

Ben from ivybridge
wot a shame, thank god no-one was hurt, big up the ivybridge massiv

tom from ivybridge
im glad the dump has gone and that no1 woz hurt

Cj from Exmouth
my boyfriend is gonna be gutted coz he got all his fishing stuff from there! I hope the animals are ok!!

Simon from Ipplepen
As a Trago Employee, my thoughts are with the people who work in the shops outside the main building who will have lost such a lot. Also I heard a reporter saying that Bruce had joked about having a fire sale in the car park, I doubt he was joking! For all the regular shoppers to Trago, the fire might have destroyed a lot of stock, but there's plenty more in the Warehouse ready to replace it!!

Brooko Gilfman
I is not happy now. I love Trago. I take me Nan when I can.

nick from kingskerswell
look after the animals,hope it goes ok

angus murray from pennywell farm
i saw the whole fire up on my hill. i was so scared for every ones safty but luckily no one was hurt. thank god

nick from kingskerswell
look after the animals and the rides

Pilch from Tq
I will miss the place sooooo much. My mate Marcel spends most of his weekends there and I don't know what he will do now. We are all thinking of you.

Suzanne from Bovey Tracey
I would like to say a BIG Thank you to all the fire fighters and I'm happy knowing that no-one has been seriously injured. To those of you who say you are glad that Trago has burnt down (which it hasn't)I hope you never ever experience a fire in your home or work place!

R from Newton abbot
The smoke was as thick as the people who shp there. It was an amazing sight.

richard hellier , bovey boy
it has been the talk of the office at work here. i am devastated at the news as I was hoping to get some leather goods at the weekend.

Sam from dawlish
i don't care about trago mills and anm quite happy it burnt as i once bought a sock with a hole in and i didn't get a refund. plus the place is really tacky and i hope it was bad

Pam from Newton Abbot
I am so sorry about the fire at Trago. I have had some good bargains from the store in the past so I hope it is up and running again soon. If one couldn't get what one wanted elsewhere, Trago usually had the item, cheaper than anywhere else.

Megal Lodge Bovey Tracey
We are all devastated. Me and my pals always go there for our medical supplies. We pick up lunch for all the staff at our factory too. Our Marketing manager relies on this as her only food source - she is so thin how will she manage? She looks like a chineny sweeps brush when she hasnt eaten.

Jo of Exeter
I am gutted. I loved going there of a saturday morn, shopping for my soft furnishings, having a pasty for lunch and then a recreational play on the radio controlled boats out back.

maria from bristol
hey!! course I did not see the fire.. but I love home and tragomills its were I use to be taken as a child sunday shopping,I think my mum got her fist sink unit from there and my plimsoles for school hey rebuild it soon as I shall be visiting miss home maria

O Roberts
I work across the road in the Heathfield Industrial Estate, me and my boyfriend have recently moved in together and we were doing out house up pretty much entirely with Trago goods!!! I'm gutted!!!


Bob from north of Exeter
My wife rang me to tell me about the fire - she's upset, it was like a temple to her!!

shelley from plymouth
they did the bestest underwere.

Ben At School In Ashburton

I first saw the fire and smoke at about 7.30am, when I got up, O managed to get a photograph of the billowing smoke as it went over Stover Country Park. The fire was obviously quite intense, and at around 8-8.15am I heard a number of distinct small bangs (I know that Trago had recently started displaying fireworks). We first smelled the smoke at about the same time. I write anonymously because I know some of the security staff at the site, and apparently there have been a number of staff dismissals recently for theft, and as the fire started in the newly built atrium, where sprinklers were installed.

We could see the hugh smoke cloud as we went across shaldon bridge this morning

B from Newton Abbot
When I got up at 7am I could see the smoke billowing up over the horizon from our house, which is about 5 miles away.

Kate from Woolacombe
I'm in mourning. What am I going to do this weekend! No shopping at Trago!!! Wait till I tell my daughter, she's only 10 and it's her favourite shop.

David from Heathfield
You could see the smoke for miles and miles!

I heard about this on the local radio this morning when I first woke up. I really am surprised this hasn't happened before as on the odd occasion that I have been there it is always busy. I agree wioth the guy fomm Paignton too.

Dave fm Kingstn
Can you ask the firefighters if they can grab us all some end of line Nike trainers? We dont mind if they are smoke damaged.

Chris from Newton Abbot
Chaos!!! I think this might give the company the opportunity to restructure and move into the 21st Century.

Bob from Stover
I saw the black smoke pooring out from the site and wondered if there had been an explosion. People were running from the site screaming, and a small child was crying by the roadside.

R from Exeter
What about the animals ???

Mike Hellier
Trago is such an institution i cant believe fire has ravaged it. I am hoping not all the stock is damaged - i was hoping to go there at the weekend and buy a singing fake xmas tree and some veruka socks.

T from Exmouth
Whilst we couldn't see the smoke, we could smell the fumes on Exmouth seafront this morning around mid-day. Says something about airborne nasties!!

Rosie from Exeter
I really hope he has insurance

Chris Carter Kingsbridge
I cant stand the place anyway

Phil from Kingsteignton
Driving in from Kingsteignton I saw what seemed to be a large black rain cloud, couldnt beleive it when i heard it was a fire at Trago !

C from Totnes
I feel for the staff.

Jason from Exwick
i saw it as i was going past there to go to work. The fumes were awful, and smelt of burning polyester and nylon. I think these were the clothes going up. Its such a shame as i always enjoyed going shopping there, and my little Porsche loved the swings and slides!

Tom from Heathfield
I agree with T, I'm surprised this didn't happen many years ago and fortunately no one was harmed. Lets just hope that if they decide to re-build it (which I hope they don't) they'll do a better job than last time. Please, no castle rip offs or appalling turrets blighting the landscape. How about something with at least a trace of architectural merit!!!

Dave from Milber
We had a birds eye view from our office up here on the hill. Smoke was blowing our way and the rain at 11 must have helped dampen things a bit. Like Tom from Paignton said earlier - the place was an accident waiting to happen.

James From Bovey Tracey
I saw the smoke at about 6.50am. It did not look that big and it was not apparent that it was Trago, then when I saw it from Drumbridges at 7.30 you could tell the it was Trago & the severity of the situation

Matt, Plymouth
Has any of the building survived? or has it completely gone?

Geoff from Exeter
I can't say that I'm sorry to see the monstrosity burned down. Hope those who work there won't lose out. I only worry that something even more hideous will replace it.

Rich, Plymouth
No I didn't see the fire but does anyone know where I can now buy some cheap dustbin liners (the drawstring variety).

Jon from up the road
At just before 7am the smoke was so dense that it made driving through he back lanes of Bickington difficult.

Matt Baker
Good news to bad rubbish!

Andy from Teign School
You could see the fire as we came to school this morning on the A38 Devon Express way. When we all got to school around 8:45 you could quite clearly see the smoke rising from the inderno. The smoke stoped around 12:00.

anthony from o2 newton abbot
i was on the bus heading 4 work i heard the newz on a local radio station and when i looked i saw the smoke about 4 or 5 miles away i just looked at ur pictures and just gob smaked ive heard it waz the worst fire down here for 30 years but on the plus side im glad to hear that no1 was hurt also i head there was 20 fire engines an 200 fire fighters i say respect to them and hope our emergancy survices all the best good luck ant

Bryan from Liverton
Heard about the fire at 06.25 on the BBC TV spotlight from Vic Graham and got up to see a pall of smoke from the panoramic lounge window.I videoed the thing at intervals during the morning - the height of the blaze seemed to be about 08.00 with a vertical thick black column with deep red flames reaching the height of the turrets. I'm a frequent and regular shopper there and I also go to a number of the small businesses sited there. The facility will be badly missed but ,judging what Bruce Robertson 's just said on the wireless, not for long

Rachel from Liverton
I am a sixth former and i go to stover school nearby trago mills and we got evacuated today. I also saw the smoke quite early this morning, it was just a huge bulge of black thick smoke, ive never seen anthing like it!! i have to say that i am very sad to hear of this news as i used to go there regularly from ever since i was about 5

Mr A Wightman from Ashburton
I am shocked to hear this, trago mills was such a good place for a good deal. I hope they can get the shop up and running for christmas other wise I will have to go all the way to cornwall for my shopping.

darren newton abbott
i could see the smoke from my back graden at 9.00am it was think then

Tom from Bovey Tracey
The security were very good at keeping us away from the fire as we tryed to watch from liverton enterence

Phill from Heathfield
The smoke could be seen frrom the fromt door of my house and at arround 11:00 the smell of the fire was strong leaving an acrid taste in ones mouth.

T from Paignton
I'm surprised this hasn't happened before today. The place was an accident waiting to happen. Luckily it happened this morning when the place was deserted - imagine if they'd had to evacuate the place with the crowds they usually get there!

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