Focus turns to structural safety to get Sudbury businesses back open after fire

Dan Hume captured this view of the Sudbury fire from the top of Kedington Hill in Little Cornard.
Dan Hume captured this view of the Sudbury fire from the top of Kedington Hill in Little Cornard.
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Fire crews say there are still patches of burning debris alight today, following the fire in Market Hill, Sudbury on Sunday night.

This morning engineers are assessing the structure integrity of the affected buildings this morning.

Fire chiefs said local crews would remain on scene, the main focus, the structural integrity of the chimney and roof of Cobblers & Keys, which was badly damaged.

Twenty households were evacuated and five required rehousing, the others finding their own accommodation.

It is hoped that fire crews’ operational activities will end at between 5pm and 6pm tonight.

The focus has now turned to helping those businesses affected to reopen, especially in Gainsborough Street.

Between 12pm and 2pm fire safety officers will visit businesses to give advice on how they can reopen.

Gary Starling, head of building control for Babergh District Council, said there would be continued work on the chimney above the cobblers as well as structural support for a badly damaged wall behind properties in Gainsborough Street.

This should allow more businesses in the street to reopen, and allow for the opening of the footpath opposite the fire in Friars Street, which would allow Pizza Express to reopen.

Mr Starling however warned that the situation was “fluent” and “ever-changing”.

Babergh District Council is asking any private landlords with long-term availability to contact its homeless team on 01473 825757.

Liz Barker, director at Babergh District Council, said HSBC was hoping to get its mobile unit to the town so that customers could begin to use the bank’s services as soon as possible.

Police will remain at the site to secure the scene while investigations into the cause of the fire take place and to secure the properties that were evacuated.

So far more than £1,800 has been raised by the public for those made homeless by the fire. To donate click here.

More on the terrible events of Sunday
Community launch fundraising bid for victims left homeless by blaze