Community spirit praised as work continues to help businesses affected by devastating fire
- Credit: Nick Butcher
The support of the community has been praised as work continues to help the businesses affected by a devastating fire in Halesworth.
The blaze broke out in a flat above D C Patrick Newsagents in Halesworth just after 6pm on Monday, spreading to the adjacent building which also houses Pinky’s cafe and Hunky Dory retro clothing and furniture.
Scaffolding has now been put up around the damaged buildings in Chediston Street to prevent debris falling into the road and a walkway has been made available so people can access Market Square.
Newsagents owner David Patrick said his shop has been completely destroyed in the blaze, with Hunky Dory also losing most of its stock.
Tony Goldson, district and county councillor for Halesworth, said they are working to find alternative properties for the businesses to continue trading.
He said: “Praise must go to Mr Patrick for getting his deliveries out the next day and he will continue to operate from the back room of another local business.
“We are looking to find a long term solution for relocating Patrick Newsagents because it is going to be 18 months by the time the insurers get done and the building is demolished and rebuilt. Pinky’s is mostly smoke and water damage so they should be able to open in a few months and we are looking to relocate the other shop too.”
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A meeting chaired by Mr Goldson was held in Halesworth this morning, with members of the fire crew, business owners, councillors and town representatives also invited.
Mr Goldson said a further meeting would be held in a week’s time.
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He also praised the reaction of local people who provided food and drink to the fire crew and offers of clothes and other donations to those living in the flats above the businesses.
He said: “The people of Halesworth have been absolutely fantastic. They have pulled out all the stops.
“Local business owners looked after the fire crews with cakes and residents have been offering clothing for the families.
“The town has really pulled together.”
As part of the measures Chediston Street has now been made two-way so people can travel in and out of the town to go to the Market Place.