Barnstaple's Boutport Street 'eyesore' catches fire

FOUR fire crews and the aerial ladder were called in to the centre of Barnstaple this evening (Friday) after a fire at a renowned Boutport Street eyesore. The call to the derelict building next to Barclays Bank came just after 4.30pm and the road was cl

FOUR fire crews and the aerial ladder were called in to the centre of Barnstaple this evening (Friday) after a fire at a renowned Boutport Street "eyesore."

The call to the derelict building next to Barclays Bank came just after 4.30pm and the road was closed as fire fighters dealt with the blaze, thought to have been caused by an electrical fault.

The road was still closed at 8.30pm as fire crews and workmen laboured to make the building safe.

The structure with its ornate frontage is little more than a front wall and had originally been scheduled for complete demolition when the development plans for Queen Street got under way.


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When the initial two Barnstaple fire crews and the aerial ladder platform arrived on scene, two further appliances were called in from Braunton and Bideford to assist.

Crews used two breathing apparatus sets, three hose reel jets, small tools and the hydraulic platform to tackle the ground floor fire.

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A council building inspector was also requested to attend the scene.

The derelict building has been considered something of an embarrassing eyesore by some in the town after it was abandoned during the 1980s.

It was opened in 1899 and thought to have been built on to an earlier 19th century structure and designed by FW Petter.

In modern times it has been an Indian restaurant and an "alternative shop" among other uses.

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