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Northam Burrows Visitor Centre re-opens following Fire

Visitors Centre Fire Damage

Firefighters were called to Northam Burrows Visitor Centre in the early hours of Saturday morning following reports of a fire, which is believed to have started in an outside bin area. Although the building was well alight when Firefighters arrived, the crews managed to limit the damage to the central section of the centre and central roof section. The cause of the fire is not yet known although a discarded BBQ placed in one of the outside bins is suspected.

Northam Burrows Head Ranger Mike Day attended the scene and spent the night and following morning making sure the site was secured and appropriate signage was in place advising customers of alternative facilities. The Councils property and Procurement Manager Adrian Redwood was also present to carry out the building safety assessment. While the central administration part of the centre is unusable it is hoped that once power is restored later on today the toilets can be reopened for visitors to use.

In the meantime the ranger service responsible for managing outdoor events, group bookings and toll gate facilities have been relocated to another part of the building. As a result all of the public events scheduled for this week will go ahead as planned. The North Devon Biosphere Foundation have also kindly loaned a small events trailer which will serve in the short term as a temporary display area and information point.

Adrian Redwood - Property and Procurement Manager said:

"We would like to extend our thanks to the fire crews who responded to the incident and who through their quick actions were able to save around 70% of the building. Our Head Ranger Mike Day and his team have also worked very hard over the Bank Holiday weekend to bring as much of the centre back into operation as possible and keep visitors informed while initial assessments and salvage work was undertaken. As a result we have been able to minimise the disruption to customers with no cancellation of any events. Congratulations go to everyone involved, for the efficient and speedy way in which this incident has been handled and so that facilities could be re-opened ahead of the busy half-term period. We will endeavour to keep people informed of plans for the reinstatement planned for before the main summer holiday period."

30 May 2017