Fire-hit company has a new home

Staff at A & M Electrical, Commerce Park, Stephenson Road, Washgington, in their new offices after fire forced them from their old unit. Pictured l-r are Andrea Smiles, John Bailey, Andrea Coates and Lynn Routledge.

Staff at A & M Electrical, Commerce Park, Stephenson Road, Washgington, in their new offices after fire forced them from their old unit. Pictured l-r are Andrea Smiles, John Bailey, Andrea Coates and Lynn Routledge.

0
Have your say

A FIRM has risen from the ashes.

A&M Electricals’ premises at Washington’s Pattinson South Industrial Estate were devastated by fire in September.

A and M Electricals factory Stratford Road, Pattinson Industrial Estate, Washington, scene of a fire on Saturday evening.

A and M Electricals factory Stratford Road, Pattinson Industrial Estate, Washington, scene of a fire on Saturday evening.

But the hardy company has moved into a new home in the town, and even taken on two new employees since the blaze.

Most of A&M’s staff are out on the road, but the office team of Lynn Routledge, Andrea Smiles, Andrea Coates and John Bailey has overseen the transition to the firm’s new base in Stephenson Road.

“The fire was on a Saturday – September 17 – and from the Monday, the business was up and running again,” said accounts manager Lynn.

“There are four of us based here. Everybody else is working up and down the country, from Scotland to London, so there was minimal disruption to the business.

“We just had to try to get the business back up and running as quickly as possible, and keep it up and running as best we could.”

That was easier said than done, however, with virtually everything was lost in the fire.

“The original building was destroyed,” said Lynn.

“There was nothing apart from a few files recovered. Everything else was lost.

“The landlord said we could move in here temporarily. We just had to buy enough furniture to keep the business running.”

The decision was taken to make the firm’s temporary location its new permanent home, but extensive interior work was needed to make it suitable.

“This was just an empty shell, it was a factory unit and nothing else – we have built all the offices,” said Lynn.

With about 20 people depending on the team, it was imperative the change-over went as smoothly as possible.

“There are 11 employees out on the road and another 11 sub-contractors and we have actually taken two on since the fire.”

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho