Updated: Remainder of facade of fire-ravaged Cupola House in Bury St Edmunds to be secured

What remains of the facade of 17th-Century Cupola House, home to Strada restaurant, in The Traverse can now be secured with scaffolding.

Structural engineers last night successfully removed a small part of the fa�ade of the property which caught fire on Saturday night.

Skilled demolition professionals worked into the night using a 40 tonne long-reach crane to delicately pick apart the unstable areas of the building’s front wall as hundreds of residents gathered to watch.

Less of the fa�ade needed to be removed than originally thought.

At 4pm today, load-bearing scaffolding will start being put up and is expected to take three to four days to complete.

Meanwhile, demolition contractors and conservation officers will start work clearing rumble and charred timber and salvaging parts of the building’s history.

Throughout the night and this morning, firefighters have continued to monitor the small pockets of fire which exist within the collapsed building, extinguishing fires where necessary.

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There are currently two fire engines and a high-reach aerial appliance at the scene. Firefighters are expected to be on scene for up to five days.

Mark Hardingham, Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service’s deputy chief fire officer, said: “Last night’s multi-agency operation was a success and I’d like to pay tribute to firefighters and contractors who worked tirelessly to save what is left of Cupola House.

“There is still a very long way to go in terms of fighting the fires that still remain under the rumble and recovering the front of the building - but the work we’re doing together is getting us closer to that goal every minute.

“I’d particularly like express our gratitude to the businesses and residents who have shown such patience in these difficult circumstances.”

Since their original closure, 27 local businesses have re-opened.

Firefighters are today helping the owners of the clothing shop Sahara, which is next door to Strada, to relocate to Cornhill Walk so that they can reopen for business later today.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council is working to open the town’s Wednesday market as usual.

The town centre re-opened to traffic yesterday, but The Traverse and Skinner Street remain closed. Part of the Buttermarket also remains cordoned off.

Just before midnight on Saturday the cupola - from which the building takes its name - collapsed and then at 2.30am there was a major structural collapse at the rear of the building.

On Saturday night, the blaze was fought by more than 80 firefighters and there were 16 appliances.

The 120 people inside the restaurant at the time the fire was detected had all been evacuated safely by Strada staff by the time firefighters arrived.

Work has begun on the fire investigation. The cause of the fire is believed to be accidental.

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