Community spirit shines as neighbours chip in to help Calder Vale fire victims

The Garstang and greater Wyre community has once again shown its true colours by rallying around house fire victims after flames engulfed their homes.

Monday, 14th May 2018, 6:23 pm
Updated Monday, 14th May 2018, 6:55 pm
The destroyed homes north of Preston in Vale Terrace, Barnacre.

The incident occurred last Tuesday evening when fire raged through two homes in Vale Terrace, Barnacre where eight fire engines, 40 firefighters, ladder teams and an air support unit brought the blaze under control.

Very little except the stone frames is left of the homes now – but the local community is doing it’s bit to help the residents in their time of desperate need.

The Kenlis Arms has become a central hub for donations, with owner Andrea Jarvis planning to deliver the goods to those affected.

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The destroyed homes north of Preston in Vale Terrace, Barnacre.

Andrea said: “Calder Vale is a bit out of the way for some people but we don’t mind delivering everything that people have donated.”

Andrea’s daughter Sophie, 25, has been central to getting donations through her appeals on social media.

Andrea added: “People keep bringing bags of goods. There’s clothes, we’ve got kettles.”

Garstang resident Bernadette Robinson set up a JustGiving page for those affected by the fire.

Very little material goods survived the blaze.

Bernadette said: “I used to play darts and dominoes at Calder Vale Club so I know some of the residents from up there.

“You can only imagine what they are going through [but] this is what the people in this area are like. They help people out it’s a very close-knit community.

“People come together when something goes wrong for others. It’s not the first time and it wont be the last.”

For Bernadette, the impact of social media is vital to bringing help quicker to those that need it.

There were no injuries reported.

She added: “Without Facebook a lot of people might not have found out and helped out. Now, everything is instant.”

The Garstang and District Lions also decided to donate £500 to the support fund.

Club President Dave Lewis said: “We get lots of support from the local community and things like this are why we exist.”

Manager of The Bellfower restaurant in Garstang, Heather Brandwood, has offered those affected a quiet place to relax and assess their situation.

Heather, from Cleveleys, said: “There’s very little a restaurant can do but if we can offer somewhere warm, safe and quiet for them we will do.

“Garstang is a beautiful town full of beautiful people.”

Social media was full of people offering support and praising the community for rallying around the affected residents.

Steve Rodrigues posted: “What an amazing community this is. It’s quite moving to be honest.

“Heather from the Bellflower and all those on here who are helping, I salute you all.”

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service suspecting that gas cylinders were involved in the blaze.

A spokesman for the fire service said: “After assessment the cylinders were deemed safe and crews set about tackling the fire which involved two terraced properties using three jets and two breathing apparatus.

“Fire crews remained at the scene overnight and at midnight the incident was reduced to two pumps.”

No one was injured in the incident.

You can donate to help the victims at