Relief as stores survive arsonist

A DELIBERATE fire over the weekend meant many Northern Tasmanians could have missed out on Christmas flowers yesterday morning.

The Tamar Valley Rose Shop was one of two stores in front of a Mowbray unit in Invermay Road that was  destroyed by a deliberately lit fire on Sunday morning.

Tamar Valley Rose Shop employee Sharon Ambroz said her biggest concern wasn't the fire, it was the ordered flowers.

``The thing that was scary was we had all our Christmas flowers in the back room, so that would have been devastating if they were gone,'' Mrs Ambroz said.

Luckily, the only damage the store received was an all-day power blackout  and a ``a bit of a smoke smell''.

``But there wasn't really anything to worry about,'' Mrs Ambroz said.

The owner of a nearby takeaway, Helen Duffey, said her store was also lucky not to  receive serious damage.

She said the store also lost power   but  ``it was all sorted by late afternoon''.

``It was a bit scary -  we didn't know what to think. We saw the picture (of the fire) on The Examiner  website, so that was a bit of a shock.

``It was very lucky.''

Residents of the adjoining units were forced to evacuate their homes because of the fire.

It is unknown when they will be able to move back in.

Police are still investigating.

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