Businesses in the West End have rallied around the victim of a suspected arson at an 85-year-old toy shop.
Fellow shopkeepers have spoken highly of Stanley Joy and his shop Joy’s Toys after it was gutted by fire on Wednesday night.
Nobody was hurt in the blaze but there are now fears that the Albert Road toy shop may never reopen.
John Brown, 71, of Aladdin’s Cave Antiques on Albert Road, has known Mr Joy for over 30 years.
Mr Brown said: “His shop has been a landmark business in the West End for years.
“If it was sunny, Stan would put a few things outside the shop, go and get his newspaper, then sit outside the shop reading it.
“He pretty much keeps himself to himself and he is always smartly dressed with a suit and tie, hair combed.
“He is a very nice man and has always got time for you. He is also a very private person.
“The business community in the West End will support Stan but I think he will be finishing businesswise.
“It’s just another long standing business that has gone in Morecambe. It went up like an inferno.”
The fire started in Joy’s Toys at around 5.30pm on Wednesday and spread to nearby shops.
Atkinson’s chippy, two doors down from the toy shop, was closed and evacuated but reopened for business on Thursday.
A post on the chip shop’s Facebook page said: “Really sorry for Stan but at least he managed to get out safely.
“Feeling for Michael and Pauline at The Old Gold Shop who have suffered significant damage.
“Let’s hope they get open again soon and when they do we all need to support them.
“Joy’s Toys have been trading on Albert Road since 1930 and The Old Gold Shop for over 50 years and Atkinson’s since the 1920s. There is a lot of history on this road and we don’t want to lose them.
“A big thanks to my team for shutting down so quickly and getting everyone out and for those that pitched up this morning to clean up, you are all stars!”
Three teenagers have been arrested as an investigation into the cause of the fire goes on.