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Maclean businesses re-group after fire

Firefighters fighting to save the building. Pic: Lynne Mowbray
Firefighters fighting to save the building. Pic: Lynne Mowbray

Lynne Mowbray

It has been five weeks since fire gutted an arcade in Maclean’s CBD, destroying four businesses.
Owners of the business which were destroyed in the fire have forged ahead, re-establishing themselves.
Maclean Picture Frames opened their new bigger and brighter premises, in the old Centrelink building, in Carneys Arcade, Maclean.
Owner Peter Thompson said that they were able to retrieve some of their equipment from the ruins of their shop.
“Our shop suffered mainly from smoke and water damage and we have a limited amount of stock which is going out at bargain basement prices,” he said.
“We have a new range of moulding samples and new exciting stock.”
Lifestyle Comforts and Home Aid owners Kevin Bateman and John Hogg relocated to the old Johnnos’ Quality Used Car site in Maclean.
After losing everything in the fire, they have managed to restock their larger items, in their new and bigger premises.
Mr Bateman said that they have a good vision for the future.
“We’ve been in business for eight years and we’re here for the long term,” he said.
“We have good clients and we enjoy what we do.”
“It’s a loss, but everything’s replaceable,” said Mr Bateman.
The owners wish to express their thanks to the many community members who have supported them during this time.
Sea Eagle Fashions owner Tina Newbold also lost everything in the fire (including boxes of school uniforms).
She now shares half of the old Johnnos premises with Lifestyle Comforts.
Ms Newbold was one of the business owners who watched on helplessly during the night of the fire.
“I couldn’t believe the work that the fire fighters do – I’ve never seen them in action before,” she said.
“They did a fantastic job.”
Support given from other business houses in Maclean and members of the community also amazed Ms Newbold.
“Bev Anderson from Clovelly Fashions lent me clothing stands, Maclean Toy Kingdom gave me a clothing stand and Nick Clark from Home Hardware (one of the volunteer fire fighters who attended the fire) has been amazing, offering to help and offering his services,” she said.
“I’d also like to thank all the schools, Johnno Johnson for his generosity and the community in general for their kindness.”
Northern Rivers Awards have changed their business name to Maclean Trophies along with their approach to the way they do business, according to business manager Rebecca McKenzie.
“I will be based out of my home office in Gulmarrad and points of contact for customers will be at Maclean Picture Frames and also the Maclean Sports Centre, at Wherrett Park,” she said.
“It will be more of a mobile trophy shop.
“It will take a few weeks before we’re fully operational, however we can still service our customers’ needs through the use of our head office in Brisbane.
“I’d like to thank everyone for their well wishes and support over the last few weeks,” Rebecca said.
Owner of the destroyed arcade, Allan Adamson, said that the outcome of the investigation into the cause of the fire was ‘accidental’.
“It’s my understanding that the damage caused by the fire means that the building has to be totally demolished,” he said.
“I plan to rebuild as soon as possible – it’s a commercial obligation to the businesses in town.
“I don’t want to leave a vacant block of land; it wouldn’t be a good look for the town.
“I want to put an asset back in the CBD.”
“I’d like to thank the fire brigades who put their lives on the line to fight the fire,” he said.
Contact details:
Maclean Picture Frames – Kerrie and Peter Thompson: Carneys Arcade, Maclean, 2463. Mob: 0427 517 543 or 0431 150 100.
Lifestyle Comforts and Home Aid – 4 Stanley Street, Maclean, 2463. Phone/Fax: 6645 2500 Kevin Bateman: 0409 814 769 John Hogg: 0417 211 142.
Sea Eagle Fashions – 4 Stanley Street, Maclean, 2463. Tina Newbold: 6645 3778.
Maclean Trophies – Rebecca McKenzie: 0490 040 676.