December 5, 2023

Coming Back From The Burn

September 20 blaze impacts services

Article & images by Valerie MacDonald

Beyond the Blue Box board of directors continue to look for a temporary location to re-open following the fall fire that closed the not-for-profit, waste-reduction and-reuse operation on Covert Street in Cobourg. The hope is to do this before the Christmas season, its executive director Jane Hawthorne-Stevenson told the News Now

There was close to 7,000 square feet at the community-based, about 30-year-old centre before the Sept. 20 blaze and she says it would be good to have a location in Cobourg of “4,000 square feet, if possible” but it is not necessarily needed in the downtown core.

Asked what she sees as a possible time frame for getting back into operation, Hawthorne-Stevenson said: “I hope we’ll be open before November.” All of the Christmas items are already processed, she said about the key time of the year for the centre.

Sarah Legakis

In addition to taking donations of unwanted, still useable items and reselling them at moderate prices, the Beyond the Blue Box provides employment including for the developmentally disabled in Northumberland, she said.

One such employee, Sarah Legakis is making bracelets as a fundraiser the executive director added.

The community has reached out with well wishes to Beyond the Blue Box after the disaster.

“They are anxiously awaiting us to re-open,” she said.

This was posted on Facebook by the organization shortly after the fire.

“We will be closed until further notice, but we will return. Much work needs to be done, but we have the great fortune of tremendous community support, so we will endure.

“We are grateful for the rapid and dedicated response of fire crews. They were able to contain the fire to the main building, so our barn and boutique buildings are unharmed. All staff, public and fire crew are safe, and no one was hurt. We are fortunate that this wasn’t any worse.

“Thank you to all the messages of concern and support from all over Northumberland County. Keep an eye on this page for further updates. We won’t be able to accept physical donations for some time, but we look forward to welcoming you all back soon.”


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