Emergency services were called to The Hollies, a block of twelve apartments owned by the Trans-European Division (TED) church region, at 3:15 p.m. on January 28, 2020. Firefighters quelled a fire that was contained to one first-floor apartment. Smoke and water damage to seven other apartments is being assessed.
Residents were quickly evacuated from the building and cared for by TED staff in the main office building until they either arranged to stay with relatives or were provided with temporary accommodation via the emergency services.
One resident and one police officer were taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation. The resident was kept overnight for observation.
TED treasurer Nenad Jepuranović has been liaising with emergency services, Adventist Risk Management, and the residents. He expressed profound thankfulness for the fast and professional response of the emergency services, which included fire, police, and ambulance services. That rapid response significantly reduced risk to life and limb.
Nathalie Johansson lives in one of the apartments and also, as TED management assistant, takes responsibility for caring for TED property. She was able to return to her apartment after police gave the all-clear for her side of the building. “We think and pray about the others who cannot do the same,” Johansson said. “It has been a scary and sad situation for us all to see this happening to the place we call home. However, I am really grateful for the practical support and comfort offered by the TED office family to all those who have been affected.”
The Hollies are located just across the road from the TED office and next to the St. Albans Seventh-day Adventist Church. The apartments were initially built to provide housing for TED staff, but some are now rented to church members and others in the community, according to need.