Fire-ravaged Abington Street building should be completed by February, owners say
Bosses of a Northampton building left an empty shell after an inferno last year are now turning it into eight new flats.
The blaze broke out at the top of Abington Street, opposite BBC Radio Northampton, on Saturday (June 17) last year, which closed York Road.
The fire on the first floor caused the roof to collapse and it sustained significant water damage but the building should be rebuilt to its former state after Christmas.
Owner Nicholas Lees of Norban Estates Ltd said: "The fire itself it went off very quickly.
"The roof was timber framed and it was a scorching hot summer last year when the fire went up.
"It only took seven to eight minutes for the roof to go up like a rocket and it fell into the first floor."
The existing building was built in the mid nineteenth century as a Baptist Chapel, and was apparently an ice-skating rink many years ago.
Bosses at Norban Estates Ltd told the Chronicle & Echo that builders are on-site making minor internal alterations to enable them to build four flats on the first floor but to create an additional four flats a second floor is also being built.
Upon completion, the basement and ground floor spaces will remain in use as a shop and a storage area - which have their own separate entrance.
The new accommodation will be accessed from a separate entrance and staircase which will lead to the first and second floors.
Mr Lees added: "I'm hoping that all the scaffolding will be gone pre-Christmas and the whole building will be on its way to being finished at the end of February."