Firms battle on after fire devastation

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FIRE-HIT firms are fighting back after their premises were damaged last month.

Beans Coffee Stop and Reid Associates were affected after a fire started in the ceiling of the kitchen at L’Oliveto restaurant in Church Street.

The roof of the building was destroyed by the blaze, which started in the early hours of Saturday, June 30.

Staff at letting agents Reid Associates, which was based above the restaurant, have moved to temporary premises in Market Street.

The company does not expect to reopen its Church Street office for six months because structural work needs to be completed.

L’Oliveto, which also has restaurants at Rutland Water and in Olde Barn Passage, Stamford, and the adjacent Beans Coffee Stop, which has branches in Stamford, Oundle and Uppingham, remain closed.

Joint owner of Beans Coffee Stop Karen Gilbert hoped to have the Oakham branch open by now but is waiting for the roof to be fixed.

Karen said: “All the roof needs to come off but there is no damage inside, it is just that the customers can’t access the building.

“We just need to get it safe first.

“We can start trading within a day when we get the go-ahead, all we need to do is stock it up with food again.

“We just need to be able to get into the building.”

Karen is hoping she will be able to open the doors within two to three weeks. One part of the property that was badly damaged is the outside seating area because the furniture was ruined after gutters had melted on to it.

Earlier this month Ben Ladjimi, manager of L’Oliveto, said the business would reopen again as soon as possible.

He estimated it would take about five months to complete the necessary work but builders have yet to move into the property because the insurance investigation is still ongoing.

Repair work is required after fire crews had to break through the ceiling in the kitchen to get to the blaze.

The restaurant is also water damaged.

One of the team at the restaurant Roberto Agagmi said: “We want to get back in there tomorrow but unfortunately it is out of our hands.”