The community is rallying round to help the owners of the Mablethorpe Seal Sanctuary which was devasted by a building fire yesterday (Saturday), killing reptiles and fish.
The fire broke out in the education room at the seal sanctuary at North End, and was first spotted at about 8am by owner Dennis Drew while on his morning checks.
He said it had not been noticed so early thing could have been even worse: “Myself and my wife and family live on site and normsaly do our preliminary checks then. That was when we noticed smoke coming from the education room.
“Myself and my brother and a good friend tried to go into the smoke to rescue the repitles and fish that were kept there as part of the display but it was too late and the toxic fumes from the plastic started to affected our chests.
“Mablethorpe fire crew were here very quickly and went straight in but it was too late for the animals.”
He said it had been put down to an electrical fault, which has completely destroyed the interior of the education room and the adjoining gents’ toilet has also been closed off because of damage to the wall.
Mr Drew said: “It has left us devastated emotionally as we have had some of the animals for so many years and the repairs will cost us thousands.”
As a charity he said they could hardly afford the increased premiums if they claim on their insurance.
He said: “We need to assess the damage and get some builders in to check and make sure the roof is secure and the beams are OK. Luckily it was contained to just one room.”
Mr Drew said they have been humbled by the masses of messages of support already within the 24 hours since the fire and a supporter, Adam Leonard, has set up a Go Fund Me page to raise donations and it is hoped that this could help avoid claiming on the insurance. Visit: https://www.gofundme.com/2qwsqfg
Mr Drew said: “The community has pulled together and offered donations or their services to rebuild the education room and we will be seeking help to clean up, redecorate and put it back to a standard where people can use it. We use it on a daily basis as a reptile and education room with a TV showing a day in the life of the seal sanctuary. Children had sent in pictures of their visit but they are all gone.