Ipswich man who has van destroyed in blaze nearly dies after Covid

Mark Dyer in his new burger van. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Mark Dyer in front of his new van. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

An Ipswich Covid survivor says he is "nearly back to normal" after his business burned to the ground. 

It has been an intense year for Chantry food and drinks van man Mark Dyer who needed a life-saving operation after having Covid in October. 

This happened several months after a fire that destroyed his business, Dyer's Diner and Coffee Shack, on July 28. 

The aftermath of a burger van fire in Hawthorn Drive 

The aftermath of a burger van fire in Hawthorn Drive, Ipswich - Credit: Mark Dyer

Mark Dyer in front of burned-out burger van in Chantry, Ipswich.

Mark Dyer in front of burned-out burger van in Chantry, Ipswich. - Credit: Mark Dyer

It was burned inside and out by the blaze at around 3pm on Hawthorn Drive. 

Mr Dyer said: "The last few months have been hard from July when my life got turned upside down.

"I lost the van in an electrical fault in the fuse box. It took me only two weeks to get something back up and running. 

"It wasn't perfect but I would go out, do my daily round, get home, and work on the van till late.

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"It's only been the last month I can say I'm nearly happy with it. I have just a bit more to finish off.

"Then in October, I had Covid which I was very unwell with and had a collapsed lung and sepsis. 

"I spent two weeks in Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital where I had to have an eight-hour operation to save my life.

"Thankfully I'm nearly back to normal."

Now back on the road, Mr Dyer wants to give back to the Chantry community that raise £970 in donations to get him his new van and have supported him through this last year. 

He said: "When I lost the van they were there for me and we are going to be working hand in hand with Chantry Library to come up with ways to help people."

Mark Dyer in his new burger van. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Mark Dyer in his new van. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

First on this step will be a Dyer's Diner and Coffee Shop inside the library from February 26, 8.30am till 5pm, seven days a week doing paninis, coffee and cake. 

Mr Dyer added: "The next few months are going to be mad as I still have the van going to events at weekends which I'm fully booked from May till November.

"I feel very confident about the future of both Dyer's Diner and Coffee Shack and Shop and hopefully if this all goes well then we will be looking to find another location for the next shop."