THE owner of a fishing tackle shop said the suspected arson attack could not have come at a worse time as he tries his best to battle back after the devastating fire.

As previously reported, the fire gutted Evesham Tackle at Orleans Close, Evesham while the owner, Chris Brooks was inside, destroying some of his stock, including rods and clothing as he watched helplessly.

West Mercia Police confirmed last week that the fire at the 2,500 square shop and another in a wheelie bin in the town were believed to have been started deliberately and are now being investigated as arson.

The fire at the fishing business, which has caused an estimated £100,000 of damage, was reported at around 1.30am last Wednesday as crews from six fire engines fought to contain the blaze.

However, Mr Brooks hopes to continue trading from a smaller shop at Manor Farm Leisure in Evesham, selling bait and tackle as his shop.

He ultimately aims to find a new premises and says he has been overwhelmed by offers of support from the community, including a loyal and valued customer base he has worked hard to build up over the last seven and a half years.

A neighbouring business, Orillo which specialises in bathrooms, kitchens and tiles was also damaged but began trading the day after the fire.

But Mr Brooks's business was much more badly damaged and he said there was no electricity, gas or water.

He said: "You can only just about get the doors open. It's going to take months before the building can be put back into any shape. It needs to be completely gutted and stripped, the roofing taken off and lots of structural work doing.

"There's unlikely to be any trading in there within the next four to six months."

He said the fire could not have come at a worse time, just before the Evesham Festival later this month.

Mr Brooks said: "This would be our best trading time. When you get the sunshine is when you make most of the money. August is our biggest month of the year. This is a massive thing for us.

"If it had happened in the middle of the winter it would be devastating. Financially we stand a good chance of not recovering. We are trying to offer a skeleton service to cover bait and tackle.

"I'm so angry and so frustrated at what somebody has done."

Colin Taylor, general manager at Orillo, said they had passed CCTV to the police.

Mr Brooks of Evesham Tackle said he was still providing a service and customers could contact him by calling him on 07984582168 or by emailing him at