Residents wait to move home

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RESIDENTS of the flats adjacent to Cupola House spent Saturday night nervously watching the flames spread – luckily fire-fighters managed to contain the fire but a damaged fire-escape could still leave them homeless for up to six months,

Jonathan Lloyd, of Hazells Chartered Surveyors, which owns the three flats above Scarlet, Butterworths, The Art of Nails and Sahara, said that if an alternative escape route was approved, residents could be home in two weeks but if not rebuilding the fire escape could take up to six months.

Resident Stuart Long, 38, said he realised there was a fire when he looked out his back window to see a chair in Skinner Street on fire, he then looked out his front window to see the crowd of people who had evacuated the restaurant.

Stuart said: “The fire service did a great job to contain the fire. I kept thinking if the wind blows the other way it’s going to spread – that was the only thing that kept us from losing all our belongings.”

Residents were allowed into their properties to collect some of their property on Sunday. Stuart said there was a strong smell of smoke in the flat and a window overlooking the damaged chimney stack had smashed.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council has offered emergency accomodation, but all residents are believed to be staying with friends and family.