A fundraising campaign has already been set up to help restore a Farnham nursery after Greenways Nursery School, located at Hale Methodist Church, was destroyed by fire on 25th April.
Seven children and three staff members were inside the building when the fire broke out, but they all managed to get out unharmed.
The spokesperson for Surrey Fire and Rescue Services said that the fire was “accidentally caused”.
Julie Christian, the manager of the nursery, said to Surrey Live: “It was devastating and really sad to see. Unfortunately, what hadn’t been got by the fire, had been destroyed by water damage and smoke damage.
“It broke my heart, obviously; I was very emotional.
“All that hard work and it’s heart-breaking to see the kids’ belongings swimming in the water and completely destroyed.
“The firemen did try to save our belongings, but we’re not sure if anything is salvageable.”
The nursery was going to celebrate its 50th birthday next month, but the celebration has now been cancelled.
All the children’s toys have been destroyed. Fortunately, the paperwork was still intact.
Mrs Christian added: “We’ve suffered horrific damage.
“We had three storage sheds that got hit first. All our toys were stored in those sheds.
“The only thing that was saved was the metal filing cabinets.”
The nursery is now looking for a new location, pending Ofsted approval, and the manager is hoping to open again in the next two weeks.
Lauren-Elissa Christian, the manager’s daughter, set up a Go Fund Me page to help with the cost. The page reads: “My mum’s been a manager there for many years and before that, sent her kids to the same nursery. This month it would have been their 50th anniversary.
“She has worked her absolute socks off and built up Greenways to be the best it has ever been. The kids absolutely love her to pieces, and she would go above and beyond to ensure Greenways is running as well as it can be.
“She’s poured her heart and soul into it, and everybody around her knows how much this has affected her. She’s now having to find temporary accommodation for the children and for the nursery to continue until they find a more permanent place or move back into the church in the future, once repaired.”
Julie Christian added: “After such devastating fire, we want our children to be back in a happy pre-school where they can relax, and especially the children that were there, try to recover from what we’ve all seen and witnessed.
“A huge thank you to everyone who has donated – it will be used very wisely to buy new, safe equipment and toys, so it will be as safe as can be.
“Our parents have been absolutely fantastic. They are all sticking by us while we’re trying to get something up and running; they couldn’t have been any more supportive.”
The restoration is very likely to take months to finish as the building is Grade II listed.
You can help by donating here.
Story by: Surrey Live