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Fire out - now work to save historic Sudbury buildings begins

THE AFTERMATH: Fire ripped through shops and properties in Friars Street, Sudbury last night. ANL-150709-170856009
THE AFTERMATH: Fire ripped through shops and properties in Friars Street, Sudbury last night. ANL-150709-170856009

Fire crews have this afternoon finally been able to completely extinguish the devastating fire which ripped through Sudbury town centre on Sunday evening.

A fire crew will remain on the scene in Friars Street overnight along with police officers on-site, for safety reasons.

What's left of the Oxfam shop in Sudbury after a fire destroyed the building
What's left of the Oxfam shop in Sudbury after a fire destroyed the building

It is hoped Pizza Express will reopen this evening, Tuesday September 8, but the path leading to the restaurant remains shut as part of roof and chimney above Cobblers and Key is unsafe and cannot be removed until specialist equipment arrives tomorrow.

It is thought that some of the grade II listed Javelin store, formerly the Anchor Pub, will be saved, with Babergh District Council building control manager, Gary Starling, saying efforts were being made to save what they could of the historic buildings affected.

The town’s community has rallied round to help the 20 people evacuated from their homes following the blaze.

While most residents were able to find places with friends or family, Babergh District Council has found temporary accommodation for seven households, all within Sudbury.

While the heart of the fire was in the building that housed Oxfam and Celebrity Nails on Friars Street, a number of properties on both Friars Street and Gainsborough Street have been affected and have suffered structural damage, rendering them unsafe.

Babergh’s Building Control team has been working closely with the emergency services to determine how severe the damage has been to the remaining buildings affected by the fire.

Businesses throughout Sudbury remain open despite the fire and while nine businesses, HSBC, Celebrity Nails, Oxfam, Javelin, The Barber Shop (Kings Street store open) The Coffee House, The Bread Shop, Cobblers Keys and Pizza Express, have been unable to return to trade from their premises, Babergh District Council is working closely with them to help find alternative accommodation.

There are also plans for a pop-up location on Market Hill for HSBC, to allow them to continue providing banking services in the town.

The community has offered tremendous support, with donations of cash and clothing pouring in to a variety of collectors in the town centre. For those wishing to make a donation, Sudbury Town Hall is accepting cash donations to help those affected by the fire, which can be delivered to the Town Hall’s front desk accessible on Gaol Lane. Further clothing is not needed.

While all of those who have been unable to return to their homes have been found temporary accommodation, Babergh District Council is now considering the longer term, especially for those whose homes have been destroyed.

The Council is appealing for private landlords who own property in Sudbury to contact their Homelessness team on 01473 825 757, who will put them in contact with residents looking for alternative properties. Those affected by the fire will all be eligible for the council’s Rent Deposit Guarantee Scheme.

Simon Barrett, district council member for Sudbury (South) and deputy leader of Babergh District Council, said: “The response from the Sudbury community has been incredible, with offers of everything from clothing to spare rooms.

“All the donations will help make the lives of those affected slightly easier. Now that everyone who needs short term accommodation has found it, we’re beginning to think about the long term and how we can make sure Sudbury remains open for business, continuing to deliver the goods and services the community needs.”

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