Wedding heart break after hotel fire

A DEVASTATED couple today told of their heart-break after the Suffolk hotel which was to host their dream wedding reception was ravaged by fire.Ipswich pair Kate Holloway and Tom Kirkpatrick are due to tie the knot on June 7 and had booked the after-ceremony celebration at the Tarantella in Sudbury.

A DEVASTATED couple today told of their heart-break after the Suffolk hotel which was to host their dream wedding reception was ravaged by fire.

Ipswich pair Kate Holloway and Tom Kirkpatrick are due to tie the knot on June 7 and had booked the after-ceremony celebration at the Tarantella in Sudbury.

But the prestigious 12-bed hotel and restaurant suffered severe damage when a ferocious blaze - believed to have been started deliberately - ripped through the heart of the elegant Georgian building on Friday morning.

Although insurers and engineers have yet to assess the scale of the destruction, a refurbishment is unlikely to be completed by early June.

The owner of the hotel Agnello Gargiulo revealed he had not yet been allowed into the building to see whether it is salvageable.

Insurance worker Miss Holloway, 23, said: “I grew up in the Sudbury area and the hotel is where I always wanted to have my wedding reception because it's such a beautiful place.

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“A friend called me to tell me what had happened because they didn't want me to see the fire on the news.

“I was devastated. It's such a lovely place and there is only four months to go until we are married.”

The couple, of Spring Road, have already paid a £500 deposit and face an anxious wait to see if the cash will be returned.

Miss Holloway said: “As soon as we saw that the roof had fallen in, we started to look for alternatives.

“We don't know how long it will take them to get the place up and running.”

An investigation into Friday's early morning blaze has been launched after fire chiefs admitted the blaze was being treated as suspicious.

Fortunately, no-one was inside the building at the time.

More than 100 firefighters battled the flames for several hours, while police cordoned off the area for much of the day.

The hotel's joint owner, Italian-born Agnello Gargiulo, sobbed as he said: “I'm totally gutted.

“We have built the place up - it's our life.”

Have you faced similar wedding heart-break? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk