£ 1million books and journals destroyed in massive fire

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A fire destroyed £ 1million in pounds, letters and newspapers after flames ravaged a warehouse.

Nearly 30 firefighters battled the blaze, which broke out at Berwyn Books in Buckley, Flintshire on Tuesday and left the owners of the second-hand store “distraught”.

The fire broke out in two company-owned rare book storage units and local residents were told to keep their windows and doors closed while motorists were told to avoid the area.

Recap: ‘It’s All Gone’ – Business owners distraught after fire ravages industrial area overnight

Now bookstore staff have revealed how many valuable books were destroyed in the fire as community members launched an online fundraiser to support them.

Berwyn Books and its sister company Cheshire Book Center are among the largest online book retailers in the UK.

Among the items lost in the fire were “real pieces of history”, Emma Littler, director of Berwyn Books. told BBC News, including a book signed by Queen Victoria in 1868 and a collection of 30 archaeological books valued at around £ 5,000 on their own.

Letters, newspapers and historic Bibles were also lost, along with a first edition of the Radio Times from 1923 and around 400,000 books.

Experts have estimated the total value of items lost in the blaze to be £ 1million.

In a social media update, staff confirmed that the Berwyn Books building had now been boarded up and was “extremely dangerous” and that no one was allowed in except the firefighters. They added that they “still do not know what will happen” with the future of the company but “we are and will remain optimistic”.

They added, “Many thanks to Lauren, one of our wonderful customers, who put together a GoFundMe page. We appreciate everyone’s efforts to help us.

“We know it’s cheeky, but we would be very grateful if anyone could donate. Even if it’s just a few cents, anything will help us.

“We always gratefully accept book donations. If you have any books you can donate, we ask that you send us a message so that we can arrange for them to be collected.”



Thousands of books in the Berwyn Books second hand bookstore in Buckley, Flintshire were destroyed by fire



Emma Littler, director of Berwyn Books, and Katrina Matthews, staff member, are devastated by the damage the fire has caused to their independent business.
Emma Littler, director of Berwyn Books, and Katrina Matthews, staff member, are devastated by the damage the fire has caused to their independent business.

They continue, “Right now we obviously have nowhere to store the books, so please be indulgent with us as we try to make room in our homes for donations.

“If there is anything else you can do to help, we ask that you contact us. No matter how big or small, we would just be grateful for everything now.”



What remains of the warehouse belonging to the bookstore after the flames destroyed hundreds of thousands of novels, letters and newspapers
What remains of the warehouse belonging to the bookstore after the flames destroyed hundreds of thousands of novels, letters and newspapers

The North Wales Fire and Rescue Service battled the flames on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning.

After extinguishing the blaze, a spokesperson for the North Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: ‘At the height of the incident, eight fire apparatuses were battling the blaze of the warehouse in the Spencer industrial area in Drury near Buckley, which affected several storage units containing a large amount of books. “

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