A TOY and gadget shop is open again after an underground electrical fault wiped out the power.

Firefighters initially reported the incident in Long Wyre Street yesterday as a gas leak.

They cordoned off 60m of the road and evacuated four shops.

However speaking to staff at Hawkin's Bazaar this morning, they said their fuse board tripped due to a fault with an underground cable outside Poundland.

Daniel Svvennsen, supervisor at Hawkin's Bazaar, was there when it happened at about 10am.

He said: "All the lights started flicking, I went over to the fuse board thinking the fuse had gone but it started crackling and sparking in my face so I turned it off in a panic.

"People thought it smelt like gas and everyone was evacuated for safety reasons.

"At about 12pm the fire service had used heat detectors and found the problem, it had affected the internal electrics but we got power back at about 5pm."


UK Power Networks had told him a problem like this usually happens over time, and it was unusual for the power cable to "explode" suddenly.

The problem has meant Greggs is still without their ovens, but the rest of the 10 shops which were forced to close yesterday afternoon are back up and running.


Laura Britcher, assistant manager at the toy shop, said shop staff were standing outside for about three hours while the problem was investigated.

Mr Svvennsen added: "UK Power Networks tarmaced over the path to get access to Poundland open again. They were there until after 6pm last night, it was chaos as everyone was saying different things."

He said it had affected business but was glad the shop was back up and running again today.

He added: "It was just frustrating as it was the start of Half Term and business was meant to be good with children coming in.

"But there was nothing we could have done, it's just one of those things."