First look: Inside Ottery's Pine Store building following major fire
PUBLISHED: 17:33 20 November 2018
Builders have been praised for 'fantastic' work that has led to the opening of the town's main routes, two months after a major fire above the Pine Store.
The Herald can reveal pictures of the inside of the building which left the building unstable and roof and timber destroyed in the blaze on September 14.
Scaffolding was put up the day after the fire which closed off Silver Street and Brook Street from the town centre.
Contractors had to clear rubble before builders could begin to demolish the chimney brick by brick and build new timbers to reinforce the roof.
Highway officers initially said the route would reopen with traffic lights on November 6, but was pushed back due to an issue with pedestrian access. The road reopened this week, on Wednesday.
Kingston Building Contractors site manager Kevin Hammet, said: “The building was unstable after the fire we had to put the scaffolding on the roof to stabilise it and to rebuild the chimney. We did everything we could to try and get it ready for Tar Barrels.”
David Hemmings, landlord of the Pine Store building, said: “It has come on very well. Thanks to everyone for their co-operation and tolerance.
“At one time we were talking 20 weeks and it has started to come down in 10.”
The remaining scaffolding which is blocking access to Brook Street is set to come down from November 23.
Ros Browne, of Roberts, who was affected by scaffolding as the fire spread to the roof of the shop building said it was ‘nice to see daylight’ after the fixtures were removed from infront of her shop on Monday.
She said: “They have done fantastically. The builders have worked extremely hard to get to where they have in a short period of time.
“People have been very good and they have come in to support the business.”