Reopening of fire-hit Earl Kitchener pub delayed until March 2015

The Earl Kitchener pub in Ipswich. PIC RICHARD SNASDELL

The Earl Kitchener pub in Ipswich. PIC RICHARD SNASDELL

A pub damaged in a blaze will not reopen until at least March.

The Earl Kitchener pub in Hadleigh Road, Ipswich, caught fire in the early hours of October 30. A fire investigations could not determine the cause.

Steve Wardley, who owns the pub with his wife Tanya, said they were told by their insurance company that repairs would not be able to start until January 2015 and would take at least three months to complete.

The couple hoped they would have the pub up and running again by the start of the new year.

“It’s been a struggle, there is some sort insurance built in for loss of trade but we don’t know what that is going to be”, Mr Wardley said.

“If we still hear nothing after this week I’ve got to start looking for a job because we still need an income.”

He said he and his wife had been at a loose end since the fire.

“It’s a seven day job running a pub and now we’re scratching around finding things to make ourselves busy. We’ve just been finding little jobs like trying to finish the conservatory, working on the allotment, cleaning the house.”

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Mr Wardley’s son lived upstairs in the pub and was asleep in bed when it caught alight.

The fire alarms woke him up and he managed to get out safely through the side door without hitting fire but Mr Wardley said he was still “very shook up”.