Residents were evacuated from their care home in Hampton Square last Thursday evening (22 June), following a fire caused by vandals setting fire to rubbish bins outside the building.
The fire, thought to be started by a fire in the outside bin area, was reported by Marling Court (Private Care Home) at around 2.00am.
Firefighters and other emergency services, attended the home in minutes, and the fire was under control in a very short period of time. Council officers were also there to offer any support required. No one was injured in the incident.
However, the kitchen and its roof was severely damaged and a small number of bedrooms suffered smoke damage.
The Community were quick to rally together and support residents and staff at the home. The Hampton Pub opened its doors to the evacuated tenants until the fire service declared the home was safe to return.
The local White House Centre, run by the YMCA, also stepped in to help. Whilst Marling Court management find alternative catering solutions, they have provided breakfast, lunch and other meals for all those at the centre.
The Council has offered support to help the home. The Police are currently investigating the cause of the fire.
Cllr David Marlow, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Older People, said: “This is an unthinkable act. At a time when the impact of fire in domestic properties is at the top of all our minds, it is unbelievable that someone set fire to the bins outside this home.
“Marling Court is home to some of the borough’s most vulnerable residents. This act is criminal. The police are investigating and I hope that these thugs are caught.
“If it weren’t for the swift actions of the staff at the home, the emergency services and the local community, the situation in Hampton could have been very different.
“I would like to thank the local fire service, the Hampton Pub, those from the White House and other local businesses, for their community spirit and efforts over the last few days.”