A New Quay family have thanked their community and an “unsung hero” for the support in the aftermath of a potentially “catastrophic” fire.

On Thursday, 21 July, a fire broke out at Copper Quay, with crews from New Quay, Aberaeron, Lampeter, and Cardigan attending the scene at 8.08am.

Owner of the building, and businesses underneath Copper Quay, Gethin Thomas, said the fire could have been potentially “catastrophic” for the town, if not for the fast-thinking actions of those on the scene.

Gethin gave special mention to “unsung hero” Shane Davis, who spotted the fire and went to the premises to help a member of staff attempt to tackle the blaze.

“Shane managed to isolate the mains gas,” Gethin explained, “if the gas tank had gone up, half of New Quay would have gone up, and many lives would have been lost.

“I don’t think everybody else realises, apart from me, Shane, and the family, what would happen if it had gone. It’s massive, just above the beach, it would have been catastrophic.”

By the time Shane had alerted Gethin to the fire, he could only watch from the street as the building went up in flames.

“It was absolutely horrific, I’ve never experienced anything like that. For us, me and the family, it’s so traumatic. Because we have businesses downstairs.

“But the most important thing is nobody was hurt. It has been quite an ordeal, but it could have been so much worse.”

Gethin added: “Shane, who was working opposite, is an ex member of staff at the restaurant. He saw smoke coming out of the kitchen of Copper Quay and went inside to tackle the blaze and help the struggling member of staff.

“It was a fryer that caught fire. Shane and the member of staff weren’t able to contain it, but he was able to act quickly to isolate the mains gas.

“I received a call from Shane, about 8.05am to tell me there was a fire. All I know is by the time I got down there, the blaze was already apparent and there was nothing I could do. The fire brigade was only five minutes behind me.

“The worst thing was watching the building burning to the ground. I was there for ten hours.”

Aside from Shane, Gethin said there were others he wanted to thank, including the fire service and the community.

“The fire service were down there so fast, the response time was as swift as can be. They’re all such nice people, they definitely need a big shout out too.”

He added: “The Line Crab staff were there to help tidy up after and support us. And the locals in all honesty, they were there, comforting us and offering their assistance. We’ve had so many messages from our customers and locals.

“It’s been heartwarming in all honesty, it goes a long way.”

While the Copper Quay has been destroyed, the fish and chip and gift shop downstairs have suffered water and smoke damage, with a need for the ceiling to be replaced.

“We’ve got major work to do, but we’ve already got people measuring up and getting quotes together. Hopefully it won’t be too long. But that’s it for us until next season.”