Norwich church and Christian charity hit by fire
By Keith Morris
city centre fire has hit both the Salvation Army
and Norwich Youth for Christ
offices on St Giles Street, but will not affect their ongoing work.
The fire, which was spotted by a cleaner at the Salvation Army Citadel at around 7am this morning, broke out in the Fairfields Solicitors office, which in on the floor between the Salvation Army on the ground floor and NYFC on the top floor.
St Giles St was closed to traffic and six firemen in breathing apparatus entered the building and then used ventilation equipment to clear rooms of smoke.
NYFC office manager, Fliss Jones, said: “The solicitors office was completely gutted and you could see through the floorboards to the Salvation Army office below it. We have had the insurance company in and they say we may not be able to use the office for three months and there might be a lot of smoke damage to our office equipment, carpets, computers and literature. Everything is covered in soot.”
NYFC director, Mark Tuma, said: “It could be three months of being elsewhere while structural work is done and because of the smoke hazard but I was amazed it did not spread and take more of the building.
“We are very thankful that, with the fire directly below us, our office was not totally devastated. God had been very gracious to us and we would ask people to pray for the solicitors and the Salvation Army.
“We are holding our annual thanksgiving service tomorrow night at St Luke’s and we will be giving thanks to God for protecting us and enabling us to continue our work with young people.”
Nine staff are based in the building and they have been offered a home for two weeks by Norwich Central Baptist Church, but may be looking for something after that.
Salvation Army secretary, Alison Gibson, said: “One of our offices is quite badly damaged and we had to close the day centre and St Catherine’s Coffee Lounge today. People will be working over the weekend to make sure that they can reopen on Monday. The main hall is not damaged and this will not affect our ongoing work or our weekend services.”
To contact the Salvation Army, ring 01603 620747.