Business counts cost of blaze

CFC Interiors manager Warren Francey beside the scene of Tuesday's fire. (2501PG21)
CFC Interiors manager Warren Francey beside the scene of Tuesday's fire. (2501PG21)

A Derry recycling business ravaged by fire last night said the cost of the damage was “substantial”.

Fire fighters battled the blaze at Peak Environmental Recycling Plant at Campsie throughout Tuesday and Wednesday, and returned to the scene yesterday morning after smoke billowed from the site once again.

With the blaze extinguished, the company’s owners and staff were yesterday hoping to gain access to the site to see for themselves the extent of the damage.

A spokesperson for Peak Environmental told the ‘Journal’: “It was a substantial fire which caused substantial damage and at the moment we are in temporary offices and trying to get back on our feet.

“We have no idea of the cost to the business at the minute.

“We have not been allowed onto the site because the Fire Service have not yet handed it over to us. We can make no further comment on the matter for now.”

Other business in the immediate vicinity also felt the effects of the blaze.

Nearby furniture store, CFC Interiors, was forced to close early on Tuesday as fire fighters tackled the raging blaze and explosions sounded from the site.

CFC Interiors Manager, Warren Francey, said some stock at the store had been damaged due to the close proximity of the blaze.

“The smoke was thick and the smell was very pungent,” he said.

“In the shop it was not as intense but it was still very strong and items have been damaged.

“We’re still counting the cost of the damage but I would say it will be substantial.

“As a result we’re holding a smoke damage sale this Saturday and Sunday.

“The sale will include fabric items such as sofas, beds, fabric rolls, carpets and rugs,” he said.

Mr Francey said Fire and Rescue Service personnel were offered “complementary tea and coffee” by his staff during the emergency.

Heidi Scheel, of the nearby White Horse Hotel, said disruption to guests at the Best Western hotel was kept to a minimum.

“The smell of smoke from the fire was very strong and we were without electricity for two hours because the overhead cables melted but we ensured that our guests were very well looked after.

“It was dining by candlelight on Tuesday evening,” she said.

The 30 or so guests in the hotel at the time were “very understanding” of the situation, she added.

The hotel even offered to “feed the firefighters” battling the blaze on Wednesday night, she said.

The owners of Peak Environmental Recycling Plant were also given a taste of the hospitality at the White Horse Hotel as the fire raged in their business premises.

“We offered our services to them in their time of need and they used one of our suites to get on with their business.

“We were only too happy to help,” she added.