Chandlers Building Supplies’ Brighton branch is open for business today, just four days after it went up in flames.
East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service sent ten appliances to the blaze, which started in a store room at the builders’ merchant on Thursday morning. It then worked with the council’s building control officers, the Environment Agency and demolition crews to dismantle the building, handing it back to its owners at the weekend.
Employees spent the weekend “working tirelessly” to get the branch ready to reopen today, and have thanked local residents, customers and the emergency services for their support.
And today they were ready to welcome customers back into the branch, on Basin Road North in Portslade.
Chandlers Building Supplies MD Andrew Cope said: “This is a tremendous feat. The team has worked tirelessly over the past three days to get the branch ready to open again today. It is truly remarkable what this team has achieved in such a short period of time. We are all back in action and ready to serve customers.”
Branch Manager Nigel Williams added that he was overwhelmed by the support that had been shown to the team during the past few days: “I hope customers pop in today, even if just to say hello, as I want to thank everyone and ensure that everyone knows their kind words and support were very much appreciated.”
Stock that had escaped the fire was moved into a new part of the site, which is due to open in July.
No one was hurt in the blaze, the cause of which is being investigated. It is not being treated as suspicious.
Andrew posted a video on Facebook on Friday, describing the devastation of the fire and thanking people for their support.
He said it was “very, very fortunate” that no one had been injured and praised the emergency services for their tireless and brave efforts to get the fire under control.
“As you can imagine, it is devastating to see a part of your business destroyed. For everyone at Chandlers and, in particular, our fantastic team at Brighton, it was heart-breaking to witness the destruction of the building in which they had worked, in many cases, for decades.
“Investigations into the cause of the fire are ongoing. However, we will begin the hard work of getting back on our feet. We need to do this for our employees at the store and, of course, for our customers, who rely on us to provide them with the supplies to continue with their projects and work.
“The list of people that have gone the extra mile to help during this incident is too long to mention but I hope to thank them all personally in the days to come.”
He added that the company would focus on opening the newly developed site in July.
Chandlers Building Supplies has 13 sites across London, the South East and the West Midlands. It celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.