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Fire closes murder case takeaway

FIRE has forced a town centre takeaway to close its doors for the second time in a year.

FIRE has forced a town centre takeaway to close its doors for the second time in a year.

Eastern Taste on Church Street, Accrington, was ravaged by flames in the early hours of yesterday morning - just months after it was closed by police investigating the murder of Accrington mum Zainab Begum.

Owner Sajid Mahmood yesterday issued a heartfelt apology to his customers.

Mr Mahmood, of Porter Street, Accrington, said: "I feel very bad and there are few words to go beyond that. The fire started at about midnight and I got a call from an employee telling me to get down there."

"I can't believe this has happened after all the hassle last year. I feel devastated."

"I want all my customers to know I am truly sorry about this because they have been so good. They were starting to come back to me and the business was becoming re-established."

"But now I feel I can't give them service because I don't know how long the takeaway will be shut. I was so pleased when the business got on its feet again because the customers understood the previous trouble had nothing to do with me."

Last year the takeaway, then called Millennium, was shut after Mr Mahmood allowed two Manchester business men to run it while a deal to sell it to them was finalised.

But the men, brothers Mohammed Khan and Mohammed Arshad, of Crumpsall near Manchester, were arrested and currently await trial for the murder of their mother-in-law Mrs Begum, of Burnley Road, Accrington.

The business was brought to its knees and Mr Mahmood was forced to change the name to Eastern Taste. After months of hard work the takeaway was doing well but yesterday's fire totally destroyed the kitchen and the seating areas were damaged by smoke.

All of Accrington's firefighters tackled the blaze, which they said was possibly started in a chip fryer. Four fire engines were needed to extinguish the fire, which lasted for three-and-a-half hours.


Stuart Pike
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