Grade II listed Sgts Mess damaged in devastating blaze

Listed building severely damaged in blaze

Flames engulf the Sgts Mess. Picture: Darius Laws

Firefighters fight the inferno at the Sergeants' Mess. Picture: Darius Laws

The listed building burns

First published in News by

RESIDENTS have told of the terrifying moments as they left their homes as flames engulfted the nearby Sergeants' Mess in Colchester.

The devastating blaze has caused serious damage to the Grade II listed building.

Seven fire crews managed to save the Sergeants Mess, the site of the starting gates of the Roman chariot circus, but it has been partially destroyed and the roof has collapsed.

Residents living nearby said thick, acrid smoke surrounded their homes which they had to leave.

Many went to stay with family and friends while other were cared for at an emergency centre set up at Colchester Leisure World.

For more on this story, get Monday's Gazette.

To see video footage, go to www.youtube.com/embed/8b5iaoTW390

 

Comments (16)

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12:37pm Sat 12 Apr 14

Say It As It Is OK? says...

The cause of the fire is not yet know but it is not believed to have been suspicious.

Yeh right! Just like Tubswick, Daniel Defoe's house or the Severalls hospital listed building. All mysteriously 'self ignighted' in the dead of night! Seems it is the easiest way of getting around grade listing planning restrictions.
The cause of the fire is not yet know but it is not believed to have been suspicious. Yeh right! Just like Tubswick, Daniel Defoe's house or the Severalls hospital listed building. All mysteriously 'self ignighted' in the dead of night! Seems it is the easiest way of getting around grade listing planning restrictions. Say It As It Is OK?
  • Score: 52

1:29pm Sat 12 Apr 14

jagxman says...

Say It As It Is OK? wrote:
The cause of the fire is not yet know but it is not believed to have been suspicious.

Yeh right! Just like Tubswick, Daniel Defoe's house or the Severalls hospital listed building. All mysteriously 'self ignighted' in the dead of night! Seems it is the easiest way of getting around grade listing planning restrictions.
My thoughts entirely!
[quote][p][bold]Say It As It Is OK?[/bold] wrote: The cause of the fire is not yet know but it is not believed to have been suspicious. Yeh right! Just like Tubswick, Daniel Defoe's house or the Severalls hospital listed building. All mysteriously 'self ignighted' in the dead of night! Seems it is the easiest way of getting around grade listing planning restrictions.[/p][/quote]My thoughts entirely! jagxman
  • Score: 31

1:39pm Sat 12 Apr 14

Ontheball says...

How can they investigate the cause if the fire isn't out yet? Who is saying it is not suspicious??
How can they investigate the cause if the fire isn't out yet? Who is saying it is not suspicious?? Ontheball
  • Score: 17

3:18pm Sat 12 Apr 14

cynicalsubber says...

Just like the Wilson Marriage fire all those years ago...
Just like the Wilson Marriage fire all those years ago... cynicalsubber
  • Score: 16

3:45pm Sat 12 Apr 14

angryman!!! says...

Developers should have some kind of fine when this happens. It's disgusting how much of our history has gone up in flames
Developers should have some kind of fine when this happens. It's disgusting how much of our history has gone up in flames angryman!!!
  • Score: 30

6:10pm Sat 12 Apr 14

Simon Taylor says...

This is the building that was the objective of the joint Archaeological Trust / destination Colchester fundraising campaign - that so many people in Colchester were willing to put their hands into their pockets to buy. So, although CAT have now moved into the neighbouring building, this news is shocking, if not exactly surprising.

Viewed by a non-expert, from a distance, the roof of the northern half has collapsed, but the rest of the building looks reasonably intact. My guess - and hope - is that it will have to be restored / rebuilt as it was rather than demolished and replaced.
This is the building that was the objective of the joint Archaeological Trust / destination Colchester fundraising campaign - that so many people in Colchester were willing to put their hands into their pockets to buy. So, although CAT have now moved into the neighbouring building, this news is shocking, if not exactly surprising. Viewed by a non-expert, from a distance, the roof of the northern half has collapsed, but the rest of the building looks reasonably intact. My guess - and hope - is that it will have to be restored / rebuilt as it was rather than demolished and replaced. Simon Taylor
  • Score: 11

6:56pm Sat 12 Apr 14

jagxman says...

Simon Taylor wrote:
This is the building that was the objective of the joint Archaeological Trust / destination Colchester fundraising campaign - that so many people in Colchester were willing to put their hands into their pockets to buy. So, although CAT have now moved into the neighbouring building, this news is shocking, if not exactly surprising.

Viewed by a non-expert, from a distance, the roof of the northern half has collapsed, but the rest of the building looks reasonably intact. My guess - and hope - is that it will have to be restored / rebuilt as it was rather than demolished and replaced.
Depends on the size of the brown envelopes!
[quote][p][bold]Simon Taylor[/bold] wrote: This is the building that was the objective of the joint Archaeological Trust / destination Colchester fundraising campaign - that so many people in Colchester were willing to put their hands into their pockets to buy. So, although CAT have now moved into the neighbouring building, this news is shocking, if not exactly surprising. Viewed by a non-expert, from a distance, the roof of the northern half has collapsed, but the rest of the building looks reasonably intact. My guess - and hope - is that it will have to be restored / rebuilt as it was rather than demolished and replaced.[/p][/quote]Depends on the size of the brown envelopes! jagxman
  • Score: 10

8:17pm Sat 12 Apr 14

West Stand United says...

Whenever theres a building in the way its funny how there is always this mysterious fire in Colchester !!

History counts for nothing when there's big money involved.
Whenever theres a building in the way its funny how there is always this mysterious fire in Colchester !! History counts for nothing when there's big money involved. West Stand United
  • Score: 18

9:24pm Sat 12 Apr 14

A Very Private Gentleman says...

I do like a Conspiracy Theory and this could quite easily be one, I would put nothing past the friends or fiends of the Teflons's and the Non Sticks.
However put this is ones mind? The Officers Mess is right next door and is virtually the same identical type and style of building, with the same issues and problems.
Now if that was to go up in smoke, the talks of the old Brown Envelopes can commence and start.
Give them the BENEFIT of the doubt with a very small b.
I do like a Conspiracy Theory and this could quite easily be one, I would put nothing past the friends or fiends of the Teflons's and the Non Sticks. However put this is ones mind? The Officers Mess is right next door and is virtually the same identical type and style of building, with the same issues and problems. Now if that was to go up in smoke, the talks of the old Brown Envelopes can commence and start. Give them the BENEFIT of the doubt with a very small b. A Very Private Gentleman
  • Score: 2

10:44pm Sat 12 Apr 14

Reginald47 says...

I can't believe anyone in the Fire Brigade would take a brown envelope filled or otherwise. Or perhaps the police who will investigate. Who else would benefit from one?
I can't believe anyone in the Fire Brigade would take a brown envelope filled or otherwise. Or perhaps the police who will investigate. Who else would benefit from one? Reginald47
  • Score: -8

9:38am Sun 13 Apr 14

totallyfootball says...

Reginald47 wrote:
I can't believe anyone in the Fire Brigade would take a brown envelope filled or otherwise. Or perhaps the police who will investigate. Who else would benefit from one?
It's a corrupt country we live in and I would believe anything. I think since the MP's started the fraud everyone is now looking at how they can make a fast buck either legally or not. As the saying goes, anyone may be bought as everyone has a price!
[quote][p][bold]Reginald47[/bold] wrote: I can't believe anyone in the Fire Brigade would take a brown envelope filled or otherwise. Or perhaps the police who will investigate. Who else would benefit from one?[/p][/quote]It's a corrupt country we live in and I would believe anything. I think since the MP's started the fraud everyone is now looking at how they can make a fast buck either legally or not. As the saying goes, anyone may be bought as everyone has a price! totallyfootball
  • Score: 7

3:59pm Mon 14 Apr 14

Reginald47 says...

totallyfootball wrote:
Reginald47 wrote: I can't believe anyone in the Fire Brigade would take a brown envelope filled or otherwise. Or perhaps the police who will investigate. Who else would benefit from one?
It's a corrupt country we live in and I would believe anything. I think since the MP's started the fraud everyone is now looking at how they can make a fast buck either legally or not. As the saying goes, anyone may be bought as everyone has a price!
Who though? Planning permission already exists to turn the place into flats so burning it down doesn't benefit anyone!
[quote][p][bold]totallyfootball[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Reginald47[/bold] wrote: I can't believe anyone in the Fire Brigade would take a brown envelope filled or otherwise. Or perhaps the police who will investigate. Who else would benefit from one?[/p][/quote]It's a corrupt country we live in and I would believe anything. I think since the MP's started the fraud everyone is now looking at how they can make a fast buck either legally or not. As the saying goes, anyone may be bought as everyone has a price![/p][/quote]Who though? Planning permission already exists to turn the place into flats so burning it down doesn't benefit anyone! Reginald47
  • Score: -3

4:48pm Mon 14 Apr 14

SAndrewss says...

Reginald47 wrote:
totallyfootball wrote:
Reginald47 wrote: I can't believe anyone in the Fire Brigade would take a brown envelope filled or otherwise. Or perhaps the police who will investigate. Who else would benefit from one?
It's a corrupt country we live in and I would believe anything. I think since the MP's started the fraud everyone is now looking at how they can make a fast buck either legally or not. As the saying goes, anyone may be bought as everyone has a price!
Who though? Planning permission already exists to turn the place into flats so burning it down doesn't benefit anyone!
The cost of converting the building would be at least on par with a new build. Along with the restrictions on design, potential unknown risks associated with a 150 year old listed building and the saleabilty of a converted property, this makes a new building much more desirable and no doubt profitable to a modern day shoe box developer.

Whilst there may well be nothing sinister about the buildings destruction and people shouldn't really go around making such unsubstantiated accusations that it was intentionally destroyed, it certainly appears very convenient, well it does to me anyway.
[quote][p][bold]Reginald47[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]totallyfootball[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Reginald47[/bold] wrote: I can't believe anyone in the Fire Brigade would take a brown envelope filled or otherwise. Or perhaps the police who will investigate. Who else would benefit from one?[/p][/quote]It's a corrupt country we live in and I would believe anything. I think since the MP's started the fraud everyone is now looking at how they can make a fast buck either legally or not. As the saying goes, anyone may be bought as everyone has a price![/p][/quote]Who though? Planning permission already exists to turn the place into flats so burning it down doesn't benefit anyone![/p][/quote]The cost of converting the building would be at least on par with a new build. Along with the restrictions on design, potential unknown risks associated with a 150 year old listed building and the saleabilty of a converted property, this makes a new building much more desirable and no doubt profitable to a modern day shoe box developer. Whilst there may well be nothing sinister about the buildings destruction and people shouldn't really go around making such unsubstantiated accusations that it was intentionally destroyed, it certainly appears very convenient, well it does to me anyway. SAndrewss
  • Score: 6

4:56pm Mon 14 Apr 14

totallyfootball says...

SAndrewss wrote:
Reginald47 wrote:
totallyfootball wrote:
Reginald47 wrote: I can't believe anyone in the Fire Brigade would take a brown envelope filled or otherwise. Or perhaps the police who will investigate. Who else would benefit from one?
It's a corrupt country we live in and I would believe anything. I think since the MP's started the fraud everyone is now looking at how they can make a fast buck either legally or not. As the saying goes, anyone may be bought as everyone has a price!
Who though? Planning permission already exists to turn the place into flats so burning it down doesn't benefit anyone!
The cost of converting the building would be at least on par with a new build. Along with the restrictions on design, potential unknown risks associated with a 150 year old listed building and the saleabilty of a converted property, this makes a new building much more desirable and no doubt profitable to a modern day shoe box developer.

Whilst there may well be nothing sinister about the buildings destruction and people shouldn't really go around making such unsubstantiated accusations that it was intentionally destroyed, it certainly appears very convenient, well it does to me anyway.
Can't go around making unsubstantiated accusations, why not the CPS do it all the time, ask Bill Roach or DLT, they make a living out of untruths!
[quote][p][bold]SAndrewss[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Reginald47[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]totallyfootball[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Reginald47[/bold] wrote: I can't believe anyone in the Fire Brigade would take a brown envelope filled or otherwise. Or perhaps the police who will investigate. Who else would benefit from one?[/p][/quote]It's a corrupt country we live in and I would believe anything. I think since the MP's started the fraud everyone is now looking at how they can make a fast buck either legally or not. As the saying goes, anyone may be bought as everyone has a price![/p][/quote]Who though? Planning permission already exists to turn the place into flats so burning it down doesn't benefit anyone![/p][/quote]The cost of converting the building would be at least on par with a new build. Along with the restrictions on design, potential unknown risks associated with a 150 year old listed building and the saleabilty of a converted property, this makes a new building much more desirable and no doubt profitable to a modern day shoe box developer. Whilst there may well be nothing sinister about the buildings destruction and people shouldn't really go around making such unsubstantiated accusations that it was intentionally destroyed, it certainly appears very convenient, well it does to me anyway.[/p][/quote]Can't go around making unsubstantiated accusations, why not the CPS do it all the time, ask Bill Roach or DLT, they make a living out of untruths! totallyfootball
  • Score: 2

4:58pm Mon 14 Apr 14

SAndrewss says...

I wrote 'shouldn't' not 'Can't'.
I wrote 'shouldn't' not 'Can't'. SAndrewss
  • Score: 2

7:40am Fri 18 Apr 14

RonnieClegg says...

The old Wreck House on Brightlingsea's marina development was located inconveniently but conveniently self-combusted one night a few years ago. Common knowledge around the town who did it....
The old Wreck House on Brightlingsea's marina development was located inconveniently but conveniently self-combusted one night a few years ago. Common knowledge around the town who did it.... RonnieClegg
  • Score: 0

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