Fire crews and police remain at the scene of a fire in Sudbury as crews try to gain access to some properties.
The devastating blaze in Friars Street, which started last night, continues to burn, with several businesses and homes affected.
Work is going ahead to remove any unsafe structures at the scene.
At a public meeting for residents fire officials said the fire was continuing to burn.
Officers are hopeful that they will be able to allow some families and businesses that had to be evacuated back in this evening or tomorrow morning to collect essential items.
Liz Barker, director at Babergh District Council, said four groups of people had “lost their homes”, but it was not clear whether this was individuals or families and whether any children had been affected.
However, a much larger number of people had been evacuated as the fire escalated, with no guarantees of when they will be able to return.
Police have promised to remain at the site for “as long as necessary” to ensure the safety of the properties and to make sure the scene is left in tact as investigations begin into how the fire started.
A number of properties in Friars Street and Gainsborough Road have suffered power cuts, with UK Power Networks on scene trying to reconnect the homes and businesses.
While work is ongoing to help house any families affected, a large community effort has started to raise money and give out clothing and bedding. A fundraising page, fundrazr.com/campaigns/412Z7c, has already raised £1,500.
The Waggon and Horses pub in the town has given vouchers for a free meal and drink this evening, while the Red Cross continues to offer support to those affected.