Sun. May 19th, 2024

The Walcha Neighbourhood Centre will not be opening their doors as planned on Monday after a fire destroyed the inside of their building.

The building on Fitzroy Street was taped off by police and the vital community service, part of the New England Family Support Service, has lost almost everything and is forced to move.

Coordinator of the Walcha Neighbourhood Centre, Jaz Taylor, said they’re not sure what happened.

“We’re still waiting for forensics, all we know so far is a fire started in the kitchen.”

“We’ve lost everything, between the fire, the smoke, and the water. All our furniture… everything,” she said.

Landlord Barry Marshall has already offered the service another property he had vacant just down the road in Fitzroy Street, but it will be a few weeks before the service can reopen in the new location.

“The community has stepped up and been really fantastic,” Ms Taylor said.

“The caravan park and one of the churches offered us space, and we’ve had lots of messages of support.”

“It will take us a little while to get replacement furniture and things. Insurance will cover most things but I’m confident the community will help us if needed.”

“Walcha is such a lovely community like that,” She said.

The community food pantry run by the centre will not be available until they reopen in their new location. Fortunately, none of the food was damaged was the door to the pantry was closed and the fire did not breach the door.

If people in Walcha are in need or urgent assistance while the Walcha Neighbourhood Centre is closed they can email walchanc@familysupport.org.au or message via their Facebook Page. They can also call the Uralla number 6771 1457 which will get through to the right people.

Oxley Police believe the fire may be suspicious and are investigating. Anyone with information can contact Oxley police on 6768 2999 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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