Thieves raid Family Kebab and Pizza drinks in Herne Bay after fire

Opportunistic thieves looted drinks from a kebab shop after it was ravaged by fire – and allegedly tried to resell them.

Family Kebab and Pizza in Herne Bay was destroyed in the fire.

WATCH: Firefighters on scene

Manager Izzy Tekagac recounted how, following the tragedy, youths took advantage of empty premises by stealing bottled drinks – which they allegedly tried to resell to a nearby business.

The police were called and a cordon was put in place around the building last Saturday, while the owners waited for it to be barricaded.

Miss Tekagac, a 23-year-old mother of two, runs the business, which is run by her partner, Selahattin Dilek, 31.

She told how she fell to the ground, hyperventilating, when she saw the devastation in the family shop.

The aftermath of the fire at Family Kebab and Pizza in Herne Bay. Photo: Izzy Tekagac

Four fire engines were dispatched to tackle the blaze, which emptied the Sea Street premises and damaged the upstairs apartment.

The blaze – which firefighters say was caused by a power outage – broke out around 12:30 p.m., when the business was closed.

Firefighters arrived at large flames emerging from the property and used water jets to extinguish them.

Miss Tekagac was in Whitstable when her mother, who lives next door to the kebab shop, called to tell her the terrible news.

Rushing home, she was greeted by the sight of thick smoke as she entered Herne Bay and arrived to find the kebab shop destroyed.

Flames from the kebab shop in Sea Street, Herne Bay.  Photo: Karen Goldsmith
Flames from the kebab shop in Sea Street, Herne Bay. Photo: Karen Goldsmith

“When I came back, the fire was out—everything had been burned down,” she recalls.

“I was very scared. I have two young children, one and six, and they were next door at my mum’s.

“I was just shocked and devastated, and really, really upset.

“At one point, I was on the floor trying to breathe.”

The tragedy emptied the kebab shop and rendered the three-bed apartment above, which previously housed employees, uninhabitable.

But Miss Tekagac says Family Kebab will reopen.

“I was very upset at first—I was seeing nightmares, I couldn’t sleep, and my six-year-old son was upset,” she said.

“But I had to change it. These things take time, but as soon as we have the time, we will start remodeling.

“Everything is going to be newly built. There’s no way you can use any of our equipment there now. It’s literally unusable.

“This will be Herne Bay’s new kebab shop.”

Miss Tekagac says the outpouring from customers and local residents has generally been positive.

“We had so much support from local people,” she said.

“I’m glad no one was hurt, but a family has lost a business, and there’s a lot of work to be done.”

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