In the early hours of Friday 22 May, the management team from not-for-profit Blyth Star Enterprises, based in Blyth, Northumberland, were notified of a fire at one of their buildings, The Old Chandlery.
The occupied building’s exterior yard space was on fire, with both the fire brigade and police in attendance. Thankfully the fire was contained in a timely manner, with no injuries reported due to residents within the area evacuating safely.
The incident is now under investigation and both staff and service users from Blyth Star Enterprises have been praised by the police and fire brigade, for their effective, calm and swift actions. There’s some significant damage to sheds that were used for storage and smoke damage throughout the yard.
CEO Gordon Moore MBE said:
“We’re really relieved that the incident was contained quickly and that no one was hurt and are very grateful to the emergency services, both the police and fire brigade, for their swift response and handling of the situation.
“I’m incredibly proud of the attitude and actions of both our service users and staff who ensured there was a swift, calm and socially distanced evacuation, as well as ensuring that people once outside were warm and comfortable.
“This is an incredibly inconvenient and saddening incident that we can only hope was accidental. Covid-19 has put a lot of stress, pressure and uncertainty on many people within Blyth and to add the additional strain of your home potentially being up in flames is just unthinkable.
“I have every faith that we’ll pull together to fix the damage and continue supporting one another through this period of uncertainty. I’m very grateful to everyone who has helped our charity continue to function and of our service users who, despite how hard the lockdown has been, have remained in high spirits.”
Staff and volunteers from the Blyth Star Enterprises team have been hard at word ensuring that service users and vulnerable people within Blyth and the surrounding areas are cared for. This has included several kind acts such as the preparation and delivery of fresh meals, groceries and pharmacy items, along with regular phone calls and online interaction to help people combat feelings of isolation and loneliness.
The charity is dedicated to helping those whose lives are impacted by learning difficulties and mental ill-health.
To find out more about Blyth Star Enterprises visit: www.Blythstar.org.uk.