Christmas light switch-on for Hereford fire-hit street

Image caption,
Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service took this image of the damage

The Christmas lights have been switched on in the High Town area of Hereford nearly a month on from a fire that left 25 businesses closed.

The fire, which happened in October, is believed to have started in a Card Factory store and then spread to three other shops.

The 15th Century pub Booth Hall also suffered smoke damage.

But although one of the stores has now opened, three remain out of action. The lights were turned on on Sunday.

'It hits you'

Adult clothing store Ann Summers store was damaged in the fire and only reopened after refurbishment on Friday, 19 November.

Acting manager Donna Jones said: "It's quite surprising how much it really hits you.

"We've missed Halloween, but I'm quite confident we're going to get the best of the year."

In addition to Sunday's lights, an ice rink will be brought into High Town.

Gary Woodman, from the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, said: "We have to be really pleased with the way Hereford has responded.

"The build up to Christmas is going well. We're really hoping people come and shop locally. There's new positivity."

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