Kettering fire: Heartbreak as thieves raid evacuated home

Jessica Duncan Image copyright Jessica Duncan
Image caption Jessica Duncan's ring was stolen from her flat, one of about 20 homes evacuated because of a fire

A woman forced to leave her flat after a major fire nearby has said she is heartbroken thieves have raided it.

About 20 homes were evacuated in Regent Street, Kettering, Northamptonshire, when a bed shop burnt down in May. Some people are still waiting to return.

Jessica Duncan was told her flat had been broken into and jewellery stolen, including a ring her late father made.

In an appeal for help to find them, she said: "Please let something good come out of this nightmare we are living."

The Kettering Bedding Centre burnt down after a fire on 13 May.

Kettering Borough Council said the Grade II-listed building would have to be pulled down.

Image copyright Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue
Image caption Eyewitnesses described "30ft flames" at the height on the fire

Ms Duncan no longer wanted to move back to her flat after the burglary.

"Words cannot describe how I'm feeling," she said.

"We were waiting patiently to get into our flat after the fire only to have someone unwanted enter it first. I was inconsolable"

Among the items taken were two laptop computers, a bracelet and three necklaces.

But Ms Duncan said the "unique and sentimental" ring was the "most heartbreaking" item to lose.

She described it as "silver but unusually not finished on the outside so it has a rough look to it with a diamond and gold lines swirled around it."

She posted pictures of the items on a Facebook page and said she was checking shops in the town and online to see if they were being sold on.

Northamptonshire Police were investigating the break-in, which happened at about 02:00 BST on 18 May.

Investigations continue into the cause of the fire.

Image copyright
Image caption The Grade II-listed building in Regent Street in Kettering is to be pulled down

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