Northampton

Kettering fire: Nearby residents still unable to go home

Kettering fire
Image caption The site was Grade II-listed in 2004

People living opposite and next to a bed shop which burnt down are still not allowed to return home.

Kettering Bed Centre, a Grade II-listed former shoe factory in the Northants town, caught fire on Monday and eyewitnesses reported "30ft flames".

Firefighters have now left the site, but homes remain "inaccessible without supervision" and part of Regent Street is still cordoned off.

The fire service said investigation work on the site was continuing.

A spokesman said it was too early to say what caused the fire and that the brigade would be monitoring the site for hotspots.

Image caption The shop has been in the former shoe factory since 1970

Anthony Caswell-Jones, director of FL Caswell, which owns the bedding shop and has another shop in Kettering, said the firm was determined to fulfil any orders customers had.

"We're not going to give up, we're going to look for more premises and we're a tough family. We'll keep going," he said.

Image caption Many of those unable to return home have gone to stay with friends or family

On Tuesday, 26 households were unable to return to their homes.

Kettering Borough Council said anyone who needed accommodation had been offered somewhere to stay.

But one resident, Caroline, who lives opposite the bed shop, said: "We have no clothes, no toiletries. You can't function and you can't go to work."

The council has taken control of the site, but was unable to say when those residents affected would be able to return home.

Historic England, the body in charge of listing buildings, said the shop was a "key 19th Century building from the boot and shoe industry" and featured in its 2004 book about shoemaking in Northamptonshire.

A spokesman said it was "concerned" about the damage and would offer support to the council with inspections and assessments.

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