Sudbury fire could have started in kitchen of Celebrities Nails

Sudbury town centre comes back to life after the devastating blaze

Sudbury town centre comes back to life after the devastating blaze - Credit: Archant

The devastating fire in Sudbury which destroyed historic buildings and left 20 people homeless could have started in the kitchen area of a nail bar, it has emerged.

Sudbury town centre rebuilds after the fire

Sudbury town centre rebuilds after the fire - Credit: Archant

While officials have stressed that the investigation into the blaze three weeks ago is yet to be concluded, a spokesman for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service said early evidence suggested the Celebrities Nails premises in Friars Street was the probable source.

Last night, a representative from the company declined to comment on the initial findings of the investigation. He said the business was currently operating its services from home on a temporary basis.

Meanwhile the fire service spokesman said officers were “working very closely” with the various insurance companies acting on behalf of affected businesses.

He added: “The severe damage to the buildings has presented challenges as far as the investigation is concerned.

“However, the evidence to date indicates that the fire could have started in the nail bar, somewhere in the kitchen area. But we do need to carry out more work before we can confirm this.

“Items have been removed from the nail bar, which are to be examined forensically by the (insurance company’s) loss adjusters. This may provide further clues to the cause of fire.

“We should receive some feedback in the next week or two and can then start to draw our investigation to a conclusion.”

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County council leader Colin Noble was in Sudbury at the weekend as part of the authority’s ‘We are Listening’ campaign. Alongside the county’s assistant chief fire officer, he answered questions about the fire.

Mr Noble said: “While people were interested in why the fire happened, the primary concern now is about getting the road (Friars Street) reopened. People from the affected businesses came to see us and asked when the boarding and scaffolding will be taken down. My understanding is that we should be able to get the road open again in about three weeks.”

Jacqui Howells, Sudbury town clerk, said offers of help in the wake of the fire had been “far reaching”. She added that donations handed into the town hall for victims of the fire now amounted to more than £6,000.

“It’s good that the offers of help are continuing because it’s when everything has died down that the work really needs to start to get the buildings back into use and the town back up and running fully,” Mrs Howells said.

“HSBC, which was affected by the fire, has opened a temporary kiosk on Market Hill which has meant moving some of the market traders, but we are happy to work together with any businesses as much as we can to facilitate them.”

A Babergh District Council spokeswoman said they were still working to support residents and businesses affected by the fire and would continue to do so over the coming months.

“The site is now in the hands of the property owners and their insurers, which means that work on site will be managed by them and the contractors they appoint,” the spokeswoman said.

“We will liaise with the various organisations involved to encourage an agreed approach for the site which will progress the work as swiftly as possible but takes into account the heritage of the site and its significance in the centre of the town centre.

“We are also working with the fire service to deliver information and advice seminars on fire protection and prevention for business owners, letting agents and landlords in the town.”

The fire safety seminar for business owners is tomorrow, and a further two events for landlords and letting agents are on October 7 and 14. All are being held at the town hall from 6-8pm. Email the fire service to book a place.

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