Halesworth: Arson hit bookshop’s stock ruined by smoke

A shop owner fears much of his stock may be irretrievably lost to smoke damage following a burglary and arson attack on his Halesworth business.

As the investigation continues into Wednesday morning’s blaze at Halesworth Bookshop, owner Peter Baron has been forced to count the cost.

Police said enquiries are ongoing and officers have been looking into analysing CCTV footage from cameras in the town.

The fire was discovered at the bookshop in the Thoroughfare by neighbouring newsagent David Patrick.

Mr Baron later arrived to find his rear office badly damaged by fire.


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A wall safe containing an estimated �500 had been torn out and money was also missing from a cash till.

Assessors yesterday told Mr Baron that much of his stock, though not damaged by fire, may not be salvaged. “We’re trying to start sorting ourselves out,” he said. “But all the stock is pretty well condemned.”

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Police said three seat cushions were also stolen from The Carpet Shop next to the bookshop. It is thought the shops were entered at some point after 5pm on Tuesday.

Newsagent and retained firefighter of 27 years, Mr Patrick spotted smoke at the back of the bookshop the following morning and called for help. He said afterwards that the community would help out where they could.

Mr Baron, who is attempting to continue operating his business over the phone and by email, said: “A lot of people have popped in to show their support.

“Customers and other traders have been very supportive.

“I’m still trying to trade as much as I can.”

Police still want to hear from anyone who was in the area between 5pm on Tuesday and 7am on Wednesday, and may have seen anything suspicious, on 01986 835300.

The bookshop can be contacted by customers on 07789 485000 or peter-baron@btconnect.com.

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