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Let’s Fight for Fakenham appeal launched after devastating blaze

PUBLISHED: 11:44 27 May 2014

A view of the damage to the former Aldiss department store from the tower of Fakenham Parish Church. Picture: Matthew Usher.

A view of the damage to the former Aldiss department store from the tower of Fakenham Parish Church. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2014

“Let’s help the stricken victims of the Fakenham inferno” – that is our rallying call today as the EDP launches its Let’s Fight for Fakenham appeal.

In the wake of the town’s most devastating fire in living memory, we are urging readers to support those who have lost their homes after the flames tore a hole through the town’s heritage heart.

But despite the scenes of destruction in the Market Place, defiant town leaders are determined to rebuild a positive future from the ashes of the burned-out buildings.

• Worst destruction since wartime bombings

• Man’s devastation after flat is destroyed by Fakenham fire

• Fakenham will bounce back

• Photo gallery: Fakenham’s devastation is highlighted on camera

Six households were left homeless after the blaze ripped through the former Aldiss department store, causing untold damaged to the Original Factory Shop.

Scores of people flocked to the town to see the shell of what had been one of the most recognisable buildings in the town – one which still bears the name of Aldiss.

A fire investigation into the cause of the blaze will get under way today.

And the EDP has kick-started its Let’s Fight for Fakenham Appeal, which is supported by the Norfolk Community Foundation, with a £1,000 donation.

EDP editor Nigel Pickover said: ‘This has been an utterly devastating event in one of Norfolk’s loveliest market towns. Some people have lost everything and many will want to help people and businesses to get back on their feet as soon as possible.

“Meetings with key community figures will take place this week but we are already live with our account and helping hands are surrounding Fakenham.”

Graham Tuttle, Community Foundation Norfolk chief executive, said: “It is a pleasure for Norfolk Community Foundation to be partnering and supporting the EDP appeal. We were totally astonished by the support of people across Norfolk to the flood appeal and we have all seen the good that this has done for those so badly affected.

“I hope and believe that this generosity will extend to those people whose lives have so dramatically changed as a result of the fire and by launching this new appeal we hope to be able to help people get their lives back on track as soon as possible”

The Original Factory Shop and the vacant former Currys building took the brunt of the fire, but six flats above the buildings were also affected.

North Norfolk District Council’s housing department found accommodation for two of the households on Sunday night, was assisting the relocation of another person yesterday and is in communication with the other three.

Some 14 fire crews tackled the blaze on Sunday.

People had to leave nearby buildings, including the 14th century parish church, but were able to re-enter the properties later.

• Fakenham Parish Church is raising funds for the Fakenham Firefighters’ Benevolent Fund. 
It has also offered support to any of the people and businesses affected.

Have you been affected? Email kate.scotter@archant.co.uk.

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