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Defiant Owner of Meath Centra store gutted by fire vows 'we will be back'

Pat Boshell sounded a note of defiance as he stood beside the burned-out shell of his Centra store

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The remains of the burned-out Centra in Bettystown, Co Meath. Photo: Mark Condren

The remains of the burned-out Centra in Bettystown, Co Meath. Photo: Mark Condren

The remains of the burned-out Centra in Bettystown, Co Meath. Photo: Mark Condren

The devastated owner of a shop gutted in a blaze late last night in Bettystown, Co Meath has vowed to return to serve the local community.

We’ll be back,” said Pat Boshell as he stood outside the burned-out shell of his Centra store in the seaside village.

Emergency services had spent the night bringing the fire under control.

The blaze was reported in the shop in the town's square at around 10:20pm last night. It caused extensive damage to the building, which also houses the local post office.

There is a takeaway restaurant beside the shop which also suffered damage to its roof.

Mr Boshell, who has run the shop for a number of years, was at the site today surveying the damage.

“We have a good team, and Musgraves are behind us too, he told Independent.ie. "We have all that we need in the town and we will be back.”

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Lorna Waters with her children Lucas (2) and Luna (4), who live next door to the Centra in Bettystown, Co Meath. Ms Waters described the fire as 'terrifying'. Photo: Mark Condren

Lorna Waters with her children Lucas (2) and Luna (4), who live next door to the Centra in Bettystown, Co Meath. Ms Waters described the fire as 'terrifying'. Photo: Mark Condren

Lorna Waters with her children Lucas (2) and Luna (4), who live next door to the Centra in Bettystown, Co Meath. Ms Waters described the fire as 'terrifying'. Photo: Mark Condren

Meanwhile, the contents of the shop were still smouldering behind the shutters which had been cut away by the fire brigade.

The scene remained sealed off today pending a technical examination to try to determine the cause of the blaze.

One witness who lives next to the shop across a small laneway described the fire as terrifying.

“It happened at around half-past-ten or eleven and it woke me up. It sounded like there was fireworks or something going off at first. Then we looked out the window and the very top of the shop was on fire,” said Lorna Waters, who was in her home with her two young children.

“It was so scary. At first it was kind of under control, and then the whole back went up. I didn’t know whether to leave or not because I didn’t want to panic the children.

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"Then at about midnight there was a knock on the door and we were told we’d need to get out. It was terrifying.”

Gardaí said emergency services were still at the scene early this morning.

"A technical examination will take place when the blaze is extinguished to determine the course of any investigation," said a garda spokesman.

Video footage posted on social media showed the roof of the building ablaze as the fire took hold.

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