It’s work as normal for Ipswich’s Birketts Solicitors after blaze drama

The fire damaged basement at Birketts Solicitors in Museum Street, Ipswich.

The fire damaged basement at Birketts Solicitors in Museum Street, Ipswich.

A fire at a solicitors in Ipswich town centre could have been “a lot worse” if it wasn’t for the quick actions of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service.

The fire damaged Birketts Solicitors in Museum Street, Ipswich.

The fire damaged Birketts Solicitors in Museum Street, Ipswich.

Nigel Farthing, senior partner at Birketts Solicitors in Museum Street, made the comments after a fire on Sunday night spread from a basement to a rear lean-to building.

A fire alarm sounded at around 9.25pm – with several members of the public informing fire crews about the blaze in the three-storey building.

Mr Farthing said no legal records were affected and the business was open as usual yesterday.

“The fire was nothing like as bad as it could have been,” he said.

“I absolutely thank the fire crews for their speedy response, without that it would have been a different story – most of the damage is water or smoke damage not fire damage. It could have been a lot worse but given what it could have been it’s a lot less serious.”

The fire affected a basement, containing a workshop, the boardroom and kitchen. No final assessment of the cost of the damage has been undertaken.

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Two fire appliances were sent to the scene – but two more were called because of the fire’s severity. The fire was out by around 10.45pm – with three out of the four appliances working at the rear of the offices in Black Horse Lane.

More than 200 people work at the solicitors, which has been based in Ipswich since 1863.

Janet Rudge, business development director for Birketts, said: “Everyone has been in work, the fire has not affected working areas at all. It has been a normal working day, there has been no disruption.”