Homeless charity gutted by blaze

Ernest Hibbert  surveys the damage after a fire at CAP (Community Awareness Programme) which helps homeless people in Wakefield
Ernest Hibbert surveys the damage after a fire at CAP (Community Awareness Programme) which helps homeless people in Wakefield
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FIRE gutted the ground floor of the city’s homeless project.

The blaze swept through the Community Awareness Programme (CAP) on Friday.

Volunteers at CAP have been forced to close their Wood Street base for the first time in its 17-year history.

Ernest Hibbert, project manager and co-founder of CAP, said: “The place needs completely re-wiring and until that is sorted we can’t open for health and safety reasons.

“We look after around 70 people living on the streets and there is nowhere else in Wakefield for them to go.”

The charity provides support for homeless people offering showers, hot meals and support.

They also arrange for food parcels to be delivered to families facing poverty.

Firefighters were called at around 1.45pm last Friday.

Investigators believe it started in either the washing machine or the dryer, which had both been fully checked and tested.

Nigel Miller, deputy project manager, said: “At the time we had three clients and myself here. You could see the smoke coming from downstairs.”

“But thankfully the alarm did its job and we managed to get everyone out safely.”

The charity has now appealed for donations to help them get back to normal as soon as possible.

For more information on how to help CAP visit www.capcare.org or call 01924 381119.