Mixed fortunes for Oakham firms affected by fire

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BUSINESSES damaged in a fire in Oakham on June 30 are enjoying mixed fortunes.

Beans Coffee Stop and Reid Associates were affected after a fire started in the ceiling of the kitchen of neighbouring restaurant L’Oliveto in Church Street in the early hours of the morning, destroying the roof.

However, staff at letting agents Reid Associates, which was based above the restaurant, were quick to get their doors open again, moving to temporary premises in Market Street where they are currently operating from.

Reid Associates does not expect to reopen its Church Street office again for six months while structural work is completed.

L’Oliveto and the adjacent Beans Coffee Shop remain closed.

Joint owner of Beans Coffee Shop Karen Gilbert hoped to have the Oakham branch open by now but the recovery has been delayed until the roof can 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, taking 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.