Morecambe’s Megazone is due to be demolished after one of the biggest fires seen in the resort for years.
The family leisure attraction has been damaged beyond repair by a massive inferno that ripped through the indoor laser adventure game centre sending clouds of smoke billowing for miles around.
Speaking exclusively to The Visitor, owner Richard Holmes said he was heartbroken by the loss of his beloved business, which he set up on Morecambe seafront 21 years ago.
Mr Holmes and his family were on holiday at Butlins in Skegness when they received the devastating news that the Megazone was in flames.
He said: “The damage is total and it’s going to have to be demolished. Hopefully I can salvage enough money to find somewhere else to start up again. That’s the only thing keeping me going.”
Nine fire engines were on the scene at the height of the fire on Thursday evening.
An investigation is under way into the cause of the blaze, which is believed to have started on the upper floor in the laser game arena – where players would ‘shoot’ each other and designated targets with replica laser guns.
A spokesman for Lancaster City Council said demolition will take place today .
The blaze started at around 6.20pm at the building on Marine Road West. Two members of staff and two children were on the premises and no games were in progress at the time.
The fire alarms went off, they evacuated and a staff member called emergency services.
People were also evacuated from 25 nearby flats and businesses.
Fire engines raced to the scene, part of the Promenade was closed off and the police helicopter circled the area.
Thick black smoke could be seen billowing from the building for miles around and fumes could be smelled throughout the town.
Crowds of hundreds gathered on the Promenade in warm weather to watch as fire fighters used a hydraulic ladder to shoot water through the roof.
The roof collapsed as crews struggled to bring the huge blaze under control.
There were still small pockets of fire inside the Megazone on Friday morning and crew members remained on site to ensure the area was safe after the blaze was finally extinguished.
The Promenade was still closed near the West End Road junction on Monday and some residents had still not returned to their homes due to safety fears.