Scalesceugh Hall fire: Mansion repaired in 'worst six months'

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image copyrightScalesceugh Hall
image captionBruno Herdeiro praised local firms putting aside rivalries to work together

A fire-hit mansion has been restored in six months despite storms Ciara and Dennis and coronavirus social distancing requirements.

A huge blaze gutted Scalesceugh Hall near Carlisle, Cumbria in September.

The Grade II-listed building had been in danger of collapsing after only the external walls were left standing.

Bruno Herdeiro, who owns the building with his wife Anita, said the work had been done "in the worst six months imaginable".

"We had to endure two storms, ice, negative temperatures - and then coronavirus struck," he said.

image copyrightLongtown Fire Station
image captionFirefighters spent all night tackling the blaze in September

The pair had seen an "unheard of" degree of collaboration from various workmen.

"We had four different roofing companies working together, taking a section of the project each," Mr Herdeiro said.

"We split up the windows contract into three because there are so many windows in the building."

Many of the workers were self-employed and not entitled to government support, so he and his wife wanted to keep them on, he said.

The Edwardian mansion was in the process of being converted into retirement apartments when the fire hit.

Restoration was continuing with social distancing strictly enforced, the Herdeiros said.

image captionThe fire left only the walls of Scalesceugh Hall standing

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