Bookshop owner thanks community after fire

A bookshop owner has praised the support of his local community after his business was broken into and set alight in Halesworth.

The shop, based on the Thoroughfare, in Halesworth, is now fully operational and owner Peter Baron, is thanking the hundreds of people who have offered their support and kind words since the incident happened in March this year.

'I've had a lot of friends by me, and my staff, Alison Hyden and Karen Pollins, have been brilliant,' he said.

'We all acted as a team to get everything started up again and we managed to get everything done together.'

Mr Baron continued running his business over the phone and by email even though he had lost all his stock to smoke damage following the burglary and arson attack.

He said: 'We never really closed. We did stay open for a couple of hours a day, but we opened up fully about four weeks ago and it's been an evolving process.

'From my point of view there was loss of stock, fixtures and fittings and the cleaning process, which cost in the region of �35,000. On top of that there was building damage.'

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The fire was discovered by neighbouring newsagent David Patrick on March 23.

When Mr Baron arrived, the flames had been extinguished by fire crews from Halesworth, Bungay and Saxmundham but they were unable to prevent damage to a rear office.

Those responsible had also stolen cash from a till and hacked into a wall to remove a safe containing an estimated �500.

Mr Baron added: 'I have had support from the wonderful community and sympathies from other people in Halesworth. Their support has been really good. I am just delighted to be up and running again.'