The moment a popular food van is engulfed by flames
This is the devastating moment a beloved Oldham business becomes engulfed in flames. CCTV footage from nearby shows the moment a blaze took hold of Uncle’s Tea Hut, on Havelock Street. The video, filmed just after 4.10am last Wednesday (October 13), also shows a number of people in dark clothes running from the scene.
: Student, 18, found dead in university halls took her own life, inquest hears Less than 15 minutes later, fire crews were on the scene, spending over two hours battling the flames and making the area safe. Imran Khan and Muzafar Iqbal were woken up by the news that their business had been trashed by fire – again – at a time they should have been celebrating its one-year anniversary.
Uncle’s Tea Hut has been trashed in a devastating fire – the latest setback for the young business (Image: STEVE ALLEN)
Greater Manchester Police is yet to confirm the cause of the fire after an investigation began last week, but it says the blaze broke out after a group of five men assaulted a guard who was watching the food truck.
The business’ owners say the guard was rushed to Royal Oldham Hospital after they arrived on the scene. They told the Manchester Evening News it was the fifth serious incident to hit the business this year. The latest fire gutted their van and equipment, worth a combined GBP30,000, leaving Mr Khan and Mr Iqbal facing the possibility of having to close Uncle’s Tea Hut for good.
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The first Uncle’s Tea Hut van was burned down on February 14 at Alexandria Retail Park. Its owners say that was followed by a break-in on June 22 when items were smashed up inside, and attempted arson attacks on July 26 and August 19, before last week’s devastating blaze. Images seen by the Manchester Evening News showed the destruction caused to the truck on each occasion.
Uncle’s Tea Hut built a strong following of fans – serving up treats such as ice cream, donuts and milkshakes to customers who would drive in from miles around.
The business could face closure after the fire (Image: STEVE ALLEN)
In the days since Uncle’s Tea Hut was trashed by fire, more than GBP600 has been raised to support the business’ owners. Following the fire, Mr Khan told the M.E.N. : “We’re probably most likely to close the business. “We can’t afford it.
The insurance is going up every time. “You can’t sleep at night. You never know what you are going to wake up to.
“A food truck like this shouldn’t need a security guard – it’s a joke to have a guard at a food trailer. “If we do open back up again, will the same thing happen?” Anyone with any information about the attack should contact police on 101, quoting incident number 430 of October 13, 2021.
Reports can also be made anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111.
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