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 three months ago.

The shop, based on the Thoroughfare, 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.


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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, and when Mr Baron arrived on scene he found his rear office badly damaged by fire.

A wall safe containing an estimated �500 had also been torn out and money was missing from a cash till.

Newsagent and retained firefighter of 27 years, Mr Patrick spotted smoke at the back of the bookshop in the morning and called for help. He said afterwards that the community would help out where they could.

Mr Baron added: 'I have had support from the wonderful community and sympathies from other people in Halesworth. Their support has been really good. There has also been support from other traders, which was very good indeed.

'I am just delighted to be up and running again so we can carry on servicing our customers and hopefully new customers will come along too.'

Press officer for Suffolk Constabulary, Anne-Marie Breach, said a 34-year-old man had been arrested on April 26. However, police are taking no further action.

The bookshop can be contacted by customers on 07789 485000 or by emailing peter-baron@btconnect.com

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