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Fire-ravaged pub to re-open

PUBLISHED: 09:36 07 February 2008 | UPDATED: 19:39 05 July 2010

A beachside pub ravaged by fire has emerged from the ashes and is due to re-open at the end of the month.

Paul Poppy and his family, who lived above the pub, were left with just the shirts on their backs after a fire swept through the Sailors Home in Church Road Kessingland, near Lowestoft, destroying everything.

A beachside pub ravaged by fire has emerged from the ashes and is due to re-open at the end of the month.

Paul Poppy and his family, who lived above the pub, were left with just the shirts on their backs after a fire swept through the Sailors Home in Church Road Kessingland, near Lowestoft, destroying everything.

But just seven months on, the pub has undergone major refurbishment and is due to open for business again from February 27.

“On the day it happened my father phoned me up and said the pub was on fire. I said 'nice joke', but I walked back and as I turned the corner I saw smoke. I faced the pub and was horrified. It was devastating,” said Mr Poppy.

“It's been a very long journey. With four children it's not been easy and we lost a lot of business. We felt it was the end and we were finished, but the whole community rallied round and offered us gifts and accommodation.”

The pub, licensed by Mr Poppy's parents, was left to dry out after the blaze in July last year and the builders started work in September for 10 weeks.

As well as a new kitchen, the refurbished pub includes improvements to the bar, cellar and toilet facilities. To coincide with the opening there is also a new look menu with an emphasis on homemade cooking and fresh fish.

Last week, new carpets and fixtures and fittings were installed so the Poppy family, who have been living in temporary accommodation, could finally move back in.

Mr Poppy added that on the morning of the opening they would be having a special visitor.

“Kessingland vicar, the Rev Joan Oddy, will bless the pub and I think we'll need it. The anticipation is killing me and we can't wait to open. I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

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