Over £1500 has been raised by staff at Thurrock Council to help the families who had to leave their homes after a serious flat fire in Chadwell St Mary earlier this month.
Cllr Tunde Ojetola, Thurrock Council Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “Our staff have gone above and beyond their normal duties to help the many families and business owners who have been affected by the fire.
“I think it is the sheer magnitude of the fire that has encouraged both our staff and members of the public to offer an extra helping hand. A lot of people have been affected in some way, with eight residential properties and three shops unable to be used.”
Thurrock Council Housing staff will be meeting with victims of the fire early this week to identify which items they would like to be purchased with the donated money.
Of the money raised so far, £575 was donated by Thurrock Council staff. Local businesses have also shown their support, with Lakeside Shopping Centre donating £1000 to the fund.
If members of the public would like to donate furniture or electrical items to help victims of the fire, please contact Second Generation Furniture in East Tilbury on 01375 846702. Staff at the local organisation can arrange to pick up any suitable items, which will then be offered to victims of the fire. Any items which are left over will then be used by the Second Generation project, which aims to improve lives and decrease waste.
For anyone who would like to drop items off at Second Generation Furniture, they can be found at Unit 34, Thames Industrial Park, Princess Margaret Road, East Tilbury (the old Bata shoe factory).
Permanent accommodation has been offered to all of those who were made homeless following the fire and the buildings have been declared safe for people to return and collect any belongings.
Work is underway to protect the top of the buildings from rain. Once services such as electricity have been checked and isolated, and the top floor made safe, most shopkeepers should be able to return to their premises.
Cllr Ojetola added: “I did visit the site in Chadwell on the day of the fire, where I witnessed first-hand the dedication of council staff, particularly the Housing team, the Police, and Essex Fire and Rescue, who worked together in somewhat difficult circumstances to ensure the safety of everyone involved.”