Facing the future

WE will be back!That was the defiant cry of Center Parcs bosses today after they woke to the aftermath of a devastating blaze at their Elveden complex.

By Debbie Watson

WE will be back!

That was the defiant cry of Center Parcs bosses today after they woke to the aftermath of a devastating blaze at their Elveden complex.

Dozens of Suffolk's firefighters remain at the scene of the fire this morning, continuing to dampen the area after one of the county's most catastrophic blazes for many years.

Throughout the night, the region's fire service worked alongside teams from Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex, desperate to stop the fire spreading to surrounding woodland.

And this morning, determined to fight back in the face of this adversity, a spokesman for the company said they would most definitely rebuild.

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"The plan is definitely to rebuild, but at the moment we will not know how extensive that process will need to be," commented press officer Simon Kay.

"The site is still not safe so we haven't been able to get access or identify what exactly will need to be done.

"At the moment, it looks as if the pool has survived relatively well, but we won't know anything for certain until we can take a thorough look. It will all become clear in the days and weeks to come."

Staff have spent the last 24 hours trying to contact all those holidaymakers who were due to arrive at the complex today.

Mr Kay said: "We have called around 98 per cent of those due here today, and we are in the process of telephoning all those who are due in future weeks.

"We are trying to get holidaymakers into our other complexes, and would ask that customers please avoid ringing us as it will only delay the procedure."

Center Parcs bosses have understandably been delighted with the fast and efficient response of all staff at the complex.

Today Mr Kay praised their efforts.

"The over-riding sentiment here today, is that, even though we are facing an obvious scene of devastation, we really are absolutely delighted that no-one was hurt.

"We have contingency plan for this kind of incident and we are very proud to see that these plans were carried through by our staff very smoothly and efficiently.

"At the end of the day, the building itself is just bricks and mortar. At least no-one was harmed."

Today, with the source of the blaze as yet unknown, some nine appliances and around 45 firefighters were still involved in the massive effort.

Some 3,500 holidaymakers were evacuated from the Elveden complex yesterday, after the alarm was raised in the plaza and main restaurant area at about 10.20am.

Miraculously, no-one was seriously injured in the drama, although one person has been treated for smoke inhalation and minor burns.

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