CHARITY officials reeling from a massive blaze in Huddersfield today thanked people for their help.
Staff working for Oxfam, who saw their recycling centre destroyed in an inferno on Saturday night, have been inundated with offers of help.
And it means they are hopeful of starting work again on the recycling project within days.
The news comes as fire investigation officers and police continued their inquiries into Saturday night’s massive blaze.
The fire swept through the Oxfam Wastesaver plant on Beck Road, despite the efforts of more than 70 firefighters from all over West Yorkshire.
It took eight hours to get the huge fire under control, after explosions caused by gas cylinders used in machines inside the warehouse.
The investigation into the cause began on Sunday. The plant was closed up for the Bank Holiday weekend on Thursday evening.
Now staff and volunteers are working flat out to try and salvage what they can to get the recycling operation up and running.
David McCullough, Oxfam’s director of trading, said: “It is wonderful to see how people have rallied round.
“We have received offers of new premises on a temporary basis, offers from people willing to volunteer to help us and from people with phones and computers we may need.Related content
“It is heartwarming to see how something so bad can bring out the best in people.
“We cannot yet get back into the fire-damaged building because the remaining structure is unsafe. But we have been able to get into two adjoining units that we use, and we have another further along Beck Road, and we have salvaged recycled clothing that was due to be shipped out.
“We hope we can start that process within days.
“The fire destroyed all the machinery we use in our operations but again, we are hoping that we can find alternative premises and get hold of the equipment we need to start as soon as possible.
“Every day that we are shut down means valuable funding is lost”.
One of the offers of help came from the University of Huddersfield.
They offered premises and office equipment to Oxfam and Vice Chancellor Prof Bob Cryan said staff and students would be willing to help out.
The Wastesaver centre in Huddersfield was set up in 1974 and every week it collects more than 120 tonnes of clothing donated through the charity’s shops.
Each year, some 3,000 tonnes of clothing is sold through the shops.
The items passing through Huddersfield are often restored and recycled, with 4,000 tonnes sold to textile wholesalers in the UK, and around 6,000 tonnes of clothing sent to projects across the world, mainly to countries in Eastern Europe, West and East Africa.
The profits from the Wastesaver centre are worth more than £1m every year to Oxfam.