A shopping centre’s security staff have won an award for their swift response when a fire broke out in one of the shops.
The team at Eagles Meadow in Wrexham sprang into action when a faulty light fitting caused a blaze at the Sports Direct store.
They have now been named as the winners of the Regional Team of the Year Award by the British Security Industry Association.
The team, employed by VSG Security, will be represented at the glitzy annual awards ceremony in Northampton at the end of the month by Sarah Powell and Grant Simmons.
As a result of the fire, the Sports Direct store and the adjoining Clinton Cards outlet were closed for more than a week while smoke damage repairs, redecoration and restocking took place.
Speaking at the time, Claire Vinall, manager of the Clintons Cards store, was full of praise for the actions of the Eagles Meadow security team who she says acted quickly and professionally.
She said: “The store began to fill with thick, black acrid smoke after the fire broke out in the Sports Direct shop next door.
“The centre’s security team were superb and got everyone out very quickly. They were so helpful.
“We had a team come in and replace the whole ceiling and paint and redecorate the shop before we could restock.
“Everyone did a fantastic job from the Eagles Meadow security team to the clean-up crew and the staff that helped re-stock the shop.”
Chris Bellingham, area manager of Sports Direct, was also delighted with the efforts of the Eagles Meadow security team and his own shop staff.
He said: “The fire was caused by a faulty light fitting. As we were trading at the time, staff and customers were in the building.
“The security team responded brilliantly. Everyone was evacuated exactly as they should have been.
“I’m absolutely thrilled with the actions of all the staff and security team and proud of the way they dealt with what was potentially a very dangerous situation.”
According to Sarah Powell, the incident showed the importance of the rigorous training and fire drills at Eagles Meadow.
Sarah recalled: “I was in the Eagles Meadow security control at the time the fire started. Grant was first on the scene along with Daren Braisdell. It was a case of calm teamwork and everyone acting professionally. It took less than four minutes to evacuate Sports Direct and surrounding stores and the fire service responded really quickly.
“I’m chuffed to be going to the awards ceremony to collect the award on behalf of the whole team. It’s nice to be recognised and I’m just glad everything went well on the day.”
Grant added: “There was no panic and everyone acted really responsibly. As Sarah rightly says it shows the importance of regular fire drills.”
See full story in the Leader