Shop owner bounces back after fire

A GRITTY furniture shop owner who lost more than £2,000 of stock when a fire ripped through her store today said she was determined to carry on trading.

A GRITTY furniture shop owner who lost more than £2,000 of stock when a fire ripped through her store today said she was determined to carry on trading.

Shaken Irene Fountain watched in horror as flames engulfed her Norwich Road shop last Thursday, destroying all the second-hand goods inside.

The 56-year-old, who also owns the nearby Eastwitch and Moonwitch stores, was preparing to empty the shop and move the stock to a warehouse when the blaze stuck.

She said: “Everything inside has been lost - it's terrible. I've been down here for 20 years and I've never been targeted before.


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“This has frightened me - but I'll carry on. As far as I'm concerned, it's business as usual.”

It is nearly a week since the fire, but the grim task of clearing the charred shop was continuing today.

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Up to 30 firefighters were called to tackle the flames at the height of the blaze, while surrounding roads were blocked in the ensuing chaos, causing major traffic problems.

Ms Fountain said: “The fire service and the police have been excellent.

“They have been so helpful and without them it could have been even worse. I'm very grateful.”

Billy Parker, of Johnson Close, Stoke, Ipswich, appeared at Suffolk East Suffolk Magistrates' Court to answer a charge of arson which endangered life in relation to the fire, and another of arson in relation to a garden shed fire on December 17 in Croft Street.

The 45-year-old did not enter a plea and will appear at court again in May.

Do you have a message of support for Irene Fountain? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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