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'Massive damage' at historic Ewell Court House, firefighters confirm
Firefighters are still damping down a huge blaze which devastated a historic, council owned, mansion last night.
Firefighters have confirmed that 70 per cent of the roof of Ewell Court House, a Grade II listed building in Ewell, has been destroyed.
Worst affected by the fire, which erupted shortly after 2.30am, is the part of the building that houses Ewell Court Library.
A council spokesman confirmed that Bambini children’s nursery; a NHS clinic Ewell Court Clinic next door to the house; and a plant nursery running alongside it were not damaged, nor were two flats next to it.
An Epsom firefighter said 50 crew members attended the incident which resulted in 20 per cent of the first floor of the house being destroyed by fire.
He said 80 per cent of the house was damaged by heat and smoke.
He said all of the ground floor has been affected by water.
The fireman said an “investigation is currently in process” into the cause of the blaze.
No one was injured.
The roof was wrecked by the fire
The park adjacent to the building is sealed off this morning for health and safety reasons and there is no power into the site.
The building is also home to a number of businesses and is used for weddings and other events.
The council said it does not yet know how bad the damage is but is currently contacting all organisations that use the building.
It had been planning this summer to rent out the top room at the house for administrative use to help generate more money from it, although this was opposed by many residents.
Ewell Court House was built in 1879 but incorporated an earlier building, Avenue House, which dates back to the late 17th century.
It was commissioned by John Henry Bridges, who lived in Avenue House and whose family made their money running gunpowder mills on the nearby Hogsmill river.
The architect was J. Alick Thomas, an enthusiast for the Old English style, who incorporated Elizabethan features.
An investigation has been launched into how the fire started
It was sold to the council in 1935 when the owners could no longer afford the upkeep.
In 2003, Epsom Council wanted to turn it into a residential development but this was strongly opposed by residents who banded together to form Ewell Court House Organisation ECHO.
They persuaded the council to retain the house for a mix of commercial and community use.
A Surrey County Council spokeswoman said it is too early to say for how long the library will be closed.
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