Temporary housing found for Ipswich residents after fire

Cllr Andrew Reid said the Carr Street residents have been supported by the county and Ipswich Borough Councils.

Suffolk County Councillor Andrew Reid is the Cabinet Member for Public Health and Public Protection. He has said that the residents left without homes have been supported by the county and Ipswich Borough Councils. - Credit: Archant / Simon Lee Photography

People left without homes after a flat fire in Ipswich have been accommodated in hotels in the town. 

The residents were forced to leave their homes after a fire broke out in one of the flats in the Focus Apartments building in Carr Street on Friday.

Suffolk County Councillor Andrew Reid is the cabinet member for Public Health and Public Protection. The Joint Emergency Planning Unit, which reports to Cllr Reid, has been helping people affected by the fire find temporary accommodation. 

He said: “Once it was established that the residents needed to be evacuated, we contacted Ipswich Borough Council to request short-term local shelter, should it be required. 

“Ipswich Town Hall was ready to receive them in the first instance.  

“It was then established that Focus Apartments was managed by a company called Principal Estate Management. They were contacted and an onsite caretaker was provided by them to act on their behalf. 

“We then took the names and numbers of all the residents as they left to allow them to return to collect any personal items, should they need them. 

“We worked with Principal Estate Management, the caretaker and Suffolk Fire Rescue to work out how the residents could be best supported. 

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“We then talked to the insurance company covering Focus Apartments and after some discussions with them, Principal Estate Management offered to reimburse all residents for local hotel accommodation."

He added: “We negotiated a block booking with them so those who couldn't afford to pay up front were covered. 

“Ipswich Borough Council offices were contacted to liaise directly with Principal Homes senior management, and the caretaker remained onsite in Carr Street, through Friday night.  

“Signage was posted on the apartments main entrance for anybody returning there who may have been unaware of the fire.  

“Residents been accommodated temporarily in hotels, under the cover provided by Principal Estate Management."

A spokesperson for Ipswich Borough Council said: “Ipswich Borough Council continues to liaise with those responsible for the Focus Apartments to ensure that the residents are appropriately housed following the fire.” 

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service has not yet confirmed the cause of the fire.