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Oxfam Wastesaver hit by blaze

Oxfam Wastesaver’s Huddersfield sorting facility was severely damaged by a fire over the bank holiday weekend.

Fire-fighters from West Yorkshire Fire& Rescue were called to the scene on 30 April, where the whole building was on fire. A structural engineer was also called to the scene as the building was showing signs of collapse.

A spokesperson for Oxfam Wastesaver said the scale of damage is being assessed currently and they will know more next week. “The facility housed equipment for baling and sorting. We also lost quite a lot of stock, which was in the building at the time. The stock was clothing that was destined for the festivals this summer, shops and the online shop,” he added.

The cause of the fire is currently unknown and an investigation team has not yet been sent to the scene due to the instability of the building.

Wastesaver has other sorting facilities at Milton Keynes and Portishead. In the interim, Wastesaver is hoping to set up manual sorting operations to keep the donations for the Huddersfield facility moving, although it is not known whether any of this material will be diverted to its other facilities.

The spokesperson added: “The important thing is that no-one was in the building at the time, so no-one was hurt.”

Speaking to the BBC news website, David McCullough, Oxfam’s director of trading, said the fire had badly hit the operation.

He said: “It’s very sad, the loss of Wastesaver, which has been a feature of our operation since 1967 - one of which we’ve been very proud.”

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