A Bradford man has spoken of his despair after the building at the centre of his future business dreams collapsed only days before it was due to open.
Raja Iftikhar Hussain, 53, was stunned when the roof to his newly-refurbished business in Birch Lane, West Bowling, caved in, along with large sections of the side walls.
Yesterday Mr Hussain was surveying the rubble of the building, which he described as a write-off.
Mr Hussain, who lives in Allerton Road, said it was a relief nobody had been in the building when it came crashing down, dubbing it a “death trap.”
A house next door to the building also suffered structural damage, according to firefighters who attended. The house had to be evacuated amid the drama.
The building, a former snooker club, was planned to be used as a mini-supermarket and for social activities for the community to enjoy, including five-a-side football.
Mr Hussain said: “I’ve worked hard all my life, and this business was going to be my future so I can pay off my mortgage.
“I’m thankful it happened before we opened. It was an actual death trap. I now have nothing left.”
The building was hit by fire in March 2011, suffering severe damage. But major structural work to the roof had just been completed as part of a £90,000 refurbishment and the business was only days away from being opened.
After all the hard work, Mr Hussain said all that was left to do was painting the outside of the property.
Describing the moment he heard the news, Mr Hussain said he had been called by a friend and immediately rushed to the site. “I don’t know where to begin, it was such a shock. I feel like I’m dead,” he said.
Mr Hussain said he had no insurance for the building and was now appealing for help to get his business plan back on track.
Bradford Fire Service said crews from Odsal station attended the incident, at about 10.30pm on Friday, to make sure the scene was safe.
A risk assessment officer also attended, as did police.
The building is currently cordoned off and the remainder is due to be demolished.