Brothers reunite to build business after Stratton Stawless blaze

It took a devastating fire, but a pair of feuding brothers have reunited to rebuild a business and bring their relationship back from the ashes.

In June the Evening News reported on a blaze in Stratton Strawless that ripped through John Sayer's business, Canary Scaffolding, and nearby sites at the Ace Industrial Estate, leaving him with little more than the clothes on his back.

The business is now open for trade after he built it up back from the brink following seven weeks of clearing and rebuilding the site. And there is one person in particular who he is particularly grateful to.

Mr Sayer, who admitted feeling defeated in the days after the fire, said: 'Me and my brother Matthew hadn't spoken for years, and it wasn't until the day of the fire that I saw him, and he just said 'come on, we've got work to do.''

The pair had worked with one another at the business but fallen out six years ago and not spoken until the day of the disaster, when the younger brother turned up to offer Mr Sayer and his family help.

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'I was honoured when he turned up and it made something good come out of the fire, and I just want to thank him because without his help I wouldn't have got up and running again.'

However, since then, and with great help from friends and family, the brothers have put in twenty hour days to ensure that Canary Scaffolding is up and running, with around �75,000 spent on restoring the business.

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Mr Sayer said: 'I may be 47 but I've just started again and I just have to build it back up. Though I lost everything people's kindness has been absolutely gobsmacking.'

His brother, 40, lives in Costessey and runs his own guttering business. He said the call from his parents that night made him realise the need for family to stick together.

'That really put things in perspective,' he said, 'it would take a lot to split us apart now.'

•Have you triumphed in tragedy? Call reporter John Owens on 01603 772439 or email

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