Double tragedy for house fire victim

A PENSIONER whose house was badly damaged by a large fire recently is coming to terms with a further tragedy after his wife died last weekend.

Anthony Bond

A PENSIONER whose house was badly damaged by a large fire recently is coming to terms with a further tragedy after his wife died last weekend.

Merlin Channon's wife Ann, 84, had been suffering from dementia for about five years but died in Ipswich Hospital last Saturday.

The couple's large detached Tudor house in Church Street, Eye, was torn apart by a large fire on Tuesday March 3.


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Dr Channon discovered the blaze in the dining room after waking at about 2.30am.

The former director of music at Woolverstone Hall School managed to escape to safety with his wife and her South African carer before the fire spread.

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Last nighthe paid tribute to his wife of 58 years and said he was facing a “challenge”.

Dr Channon, who is president of the Ipswich Bach Choir, said: “It is a challenge but I just need to get on with it. There is no point just sitting there and feeling sorry for oneself. You have got to get on and do what you can. Lots of people are being terribly kind and I am inundated with friends offering to help.”

The couple married in 1951 in London after meeting on a music course. They moved to Eye in 1973 and through their shared passion for music, Mrs Channon helped her husband found the Eye Bach Choir. They had one daughter and two grandchildren.

Dr Channon said his wife was a talented clarinet player and book binder.

“She was an excellent musician and a very good book binder indeed,” said Dr Channon. “She was highly organised, very efficient and charming. She was absolutely splendid.”

Following the fire, Mrs Channon was taken to West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds before being transferred to Christies Care in Saxmundham. However, she was later transferred to Ipswich Hospital where she died last Saturday.

Dr Channon said his wife's death was not connected to the fire at the couple's five-bedroom house.

More that 60 firefighters from across Suffolk battled the blaze which spread to the roof of the house. Dr Channon is now staying in a cottage close to his home in Church Street. He thinks it could be at least a year before he can occupy the house again.

Mrs Channon's funeral will take place at West Suffolk Crematorium at 4.30pm on Tuesday.

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