A huge fire that spread through an apartment block has left many tenants homeless.
Over 100 firefighters, alongside police and ambulance crews from three counties, tackled the blaze and brought people to safety after 200 residents were evacuated from the Wharfside development in Wigan.
Dave Roberts and his staff at Belvoir Wigan were just some of the agents that stepped in to help the tenants.
The fire directly affected a total of 133 apartments and about a third of the people living in the complex will not return. For safety reasons, one block has been demolished.
With Roberts, lettings manager Helen Rowberry and her colleagues, Caroline Walsh and Joanne Hill, took streams of calls and dealt with those queuing outside the office for help and support.
Hill comments: “This was a full blown crisis situation. We had 52 people in tenancy but were also approached by other residents looking for new accommodation.
“Up to 40 people from other agencies asked us to help and the biggest challenge was trying to find suitable alternative accommodation.
“As well as trying to find new accommodation for those tenants who could not return, we were also kept very busy arranging the release of deposits and refunds on rent owed to them, working well into each evening to get through it all.”1
Roberts adds: “This was a very intense period of activity and the team did a magnificent job of pulling together to sort out a wide range of issues, not only for tenants, but also in communicating developments to landlord clients.
“Although the initial barrage of problems was sorted out very quickly we are still, even now, picking up some of the threads from the event.
“All of our existing rental stock in that particular part of the town was taken immediately and since then we have managed to re-house a total of 32 people.”1