999 caller saves GP surgery from blaze
A DOCTOR'S surgery is set to reopen today after a fire threatened to wreck the centre.
Firefighters were called to the Brinsley Avenue Medical Practice in Trentham at 1.45am on Saturday following reports of smoke pouring from the building.
Dr Robert Jones, who has run the practice for 22 years, has praised an eagle-eyed resident who saw the fire and dialled 999.
Dr Jones said: "It could have been a lot worse and I am grateful to whoever called the fire service.
"I received a call at 3am and came straight here. I was just surprised by the number of engines that had responded."
An investigation has revealed the accidental fire started in an electrical mains box in the ground floor of the property.
Crews from Longton and Newcastle took just over an hour to bring the fire under control. They remained at the scene to damp down the building.
The fire caused "severe damage" to a treatment room with heat also affecting the first floor.
However despite the incident the centre, below, will be open for patients today.
The damaged treatment room has been cordoned off and a temporary area has been set up on the first floor.
An electrician and plumber worked over the weekend to restore services.
Dr Jones said: "Subject to getting the power back we will have four clinical rooms up and running.
"We are very IT-dependent and if there issues with the power supply then that will cause us problems and there may be delay in patients getting back pathology results as they are sent from the hospital straight to my computer.
"But we will be running a pretty good service on Monday."
Patients with appointments are asked to come to the surgery as normal.
Anyone seeking an appointment today is asked to visit the centre if they have difficulties telephoning.
Dr Jones added: "Calls will be diverted to a mobile if there are problems with the lines and therefore it may be engaged when people try to ring.The phone service will be a much-reduced one."
Over the weekend staff began to assess what equipment had been ruined..
"We are not sure how long it will take to reopen the treatment room," said Dr Jones. "A few things have been affected by water damage and we will take stock."
People living near the practice said they were shocked by the fire.
Clive Bromley, aged 52, a site manager, of Brinsley Avenue, said: "We heard an alarm going off and the next thing we knew there were fire engines in the road, there must have been about five of them. I could see a lot of smoke, it was just going up in a plume."
Carl Mason, a station manager for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said the building suffered some severe fire damage on both floors.