Search

Update: Battle to save fire-hit Bury St Edmunds building starts

01:33 19 June 2012

Emergency services remain at the scene of the fire at Strada / Cupla House in the centre of Bury.

Emergency services remain at the scene of the fire at Strada / Cupla House in the centre of Bury.

Archant

The battle to save the facade of a 17th century building which was ravaged by fire began last night.

Cupola House, home to Strada restaurant, in The Traverse, Bury St Edmunds, has suffered major structural collapse as a result of the blaze which was still smouldering last night after taking hold on Saturday.

At about 8pm a 40-tonne, long-reach crane began removing up to a quarter of the facade in a bid to prevent any more of the Grade I listed building from collapsing.

Station commander Ken Williamson, of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, said they would be working to extinguish any hot spots revealed.

“They will try to take the building down as delicately as they can,” he said. “We are going to try to leave as much in place as we can and remove the unsafe part of the structure.”

Once the fire had taken hold there was a significant structural collapse to the rear of the five-storey building and the front facade buckled.

The front of the building became increasingly unstable throughout yesterday, a Suffolk County Council spokesman said.

People have spoken of their “devastation” about the damage.

Paul Romaine, who renovated the building from 2003-04 before selling it to Strada, said: “The facade, if it can be saved, that would be wonderful, but even if it cannot there were some features on the facade such as the bosses and the listed balcony that could be retained, and this is a perfect opportunity on this site to re-create something for the town that pays homage to the original building, but takes on a contemporary twist.”

Last night’s salvage operation followed a meeting of interested parties including the fire service, structural engineers and the local authorities.

An English Heritage spokesman said it was in discussions with St Edmundsbury Borough Council about the next steps “but these will depend upon a thorough appraisal of the condition of the building and how much historic fabric may potentially be salvageable”.

Firefighters are expected to be at the scene for a number of days. The blaze is not believed to be suspicious. A full investigation is taking place.

0 comments

Other news

Fri, 12:15
Franko Fraize.

An up-and-coming musician has found himself an unlikely spokesman for young people after writing a rap which was aired on national radio.

Olly Murs and Caroline Flack have been chosen to present The X-Factor. PHOTO: Ian West/PA Archive.

Olly Murs and Norfolk’s Caroline Flack are to present The X Factor following Dermot O’Leary’s departure after eight years, the show’s supremo Simon Cowell has confirmed.

Thu, 19:57
David Dimbleby  Photo:  Jeff Overs/BBC/PA Wire

The five leaders not in government will debate each other on the BBC

Thu, 16:10
Norfolk Constabulary police vehicle. Picture: James Bass.

Police are on the hunt for suspected arsonists after a flaming object was deliberately pushed through a shop letter box.

Most Read

Wed, 08:24
Zaks in Thetford

A new American diner in Thetford has announced its opening date and details of its glitzy US-themed party to mark the event - and released the first glimpse of its new layout.

Read more
Sylvia Armes
Thu, 16:10
Norfolk Constabulary police vehicle. Picture: James Bass.

Police are on the hunt for suspected arsonists after a flaming object was deliberately pushed through a shop letter box.

Read more
Thetford
Thu, 13:19
The fire damaged buidlings at Marshall Cooke in Thetford.

A business owner has said a paintshop will have to be demolished after a blaze which took 60 firefighters and six hours to tackle.

Read more
Thetford
Fri, 12:15
Franko Fraize.

An up-and-coming musician has found himself an unlikely spokesman for young people after writing a rap which was aired on national radio.

Read more
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Sean Rickard, owner of Didlington Nurseries is celebrating their 50th anniversary.

A successful nursery is celebrating five decades in the horticultural business, in the hands of the same family.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 4°C

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Thetford and Brandon e-edition today E-edition