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Claydon fire hits services for disabled children in Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 10:31 25 February 2017 | UPDATED: 11:15 25 February 2017

The scene of the fire at the building at Hill View Business Park in Claydon.

The scene of the fire at the building at Hill View Business Park in Claydon.

Paul Geater

A blaze in the early hours in Claydon has damaged a children's activity resource centre.

The building has been completely gutted.The building has been completely gutted.

A timber building used by a service that provides activities for disabled children has been completed gutted by fire.

About 40 firefighters tackled the blaze at Hill View Business Park in Old Ipswich Road in Claydon after they were contacted at 1.17am.

They managed to contain the fire to the one building, which is used primarily as office space for about 50 Suffolk County Council staff involved in the Activities Unlimited service.

Activities Unlimited provides short breaks and leisure activities to disabled children aged 0-25 in Suffolk.

The aftermath of the fire at a building at Hill View Business Park in Claydon.The aftermath of the fire at a building at Hill View Business Park in Claydon.

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council confirmed no-one had been hurt in the fire and there would be no loss of service.

“All staff are in process of being contacted today as alternative work locations will be provided for Monday. Part of the casework done at the office is related to disabled access provision,” he said.

He said all staff were equipped with technology to work remotely or from multiple locations. Staff from the Activities Unlimited service visited the site on Saturday morning – but it seemed unlikely anything could be salvaged from the building.

The call to the fire service was initially for a roof on fire, but by 2.40am it had spread to the rest of unit. The blaze was under control by 3.30am.

The fire service are still on scene at Hill View Business Park in Claydon following a fire in the early hours. Picture: Paul Geater.The fire service are still on scene at Hill View Business Park in Claydon following a fire in the early hours. Picture: Paul Geater.

“This call involved nine fire engines plus two specialist support vehicles attending what was initially a roof fire which spread to the rest of the unit at the business park,” the spokesman said.

There were still smouldering embers at the site some hours after the blaze was brought under control.

The building, measuring 30m x 25m, was leased from the owners of business park, the Binder Group.

Charlie Binder from the company praised the work of the fire service in confining the blaze to the single unit – and he also thanked staff from UK Power Networks who turned out to turn off electricity supplies to allow the firefighters to work.

He said: “They all did a superb job. There is a lot to do now – but the emergency services could not have done better.”

Investigations into the cause of the fire are continuing but there is no suggestion there was anything suspicious about the blaze.

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