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Ten months after Summer Street blaze, scaffolding to remain in place

Scaffolding set up by Orange City Council shortly after the fire, to allow pedestrian traffic. Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

By Peter Holmes

Orange City Council is continuing to forward bills for scaffolding to the owners of properties on Summer Street impacted by the blaze of April 2021.

However council is not concerned about the pace of restoring the properties, saying that there has been progress in the 10 months since the fire ripped through the site.

The council erected the scaffolding shortly after the fire, which began in an apartment above Café Latte on April 5.

Shops affected by the blaze on Summer Street in April 2021 remain empty. Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

The scaffolding has allowed pedestrian traffic to continue to flow on that section of Summer Street.

It will remain in place until the buildings are deemed safe.

Damage caused by fire and water meant a number of shop owners - including those at Café Latte, Games n More, Second Nature Aquariums and Sheeradiance - had to vacate and seek new tenancies, all while dealing with relevant insurance claims for lost and damaged stock, furniture, benches, shelving, etc.

Sheeradiance relocated. This is how the old premises has been left. Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

The Orange News Examiner perused the shop fronts on Monday.

The shop most heavily impacted by the fire, Café Latte, which relocated to the Uniting Church around the corner, is still open to the elements following the collapse of the upper floor.

The Cafe Latte site. Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

It is believed the properties are owned by a number of parties, and that meetings have been held to formulate a plan for the future.

The major issue is the safety of the building.

The old Games n More site. After the fire the shop moved into the old Need A Nerd building on Lords Place. Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

Council will continue to forward the bills for scaffolding to building owners until such time as the buildings have been deemed safe.

There is no time limit on rebuilding, and council would only intervene if it felt that no progress had been made over an extended period of time.


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