Weekend fire leaves Born Free Foundation temporarily homeless

The wildlife charity says no one was hurt, but the West Sussex office has no electricity or water, and telephones and computers were rendered useless

Site of the Born Free building in Horsham
Site of the Born Free building in Horsham

Staff at the wildlife charity the Born Free Foundation hope to return to their office next month after it was damaged by fire.

A faulty server caused a blaze at the charity’s headquarters in Horsham, West Sussex, on 8 July. The fire occurred during a weekend and nobody was injured.

The fire, described by Will Travers, president of Born Free, as "serious but small", destroyed the charity’s IT hardware and communications systems.

The office was left with no electricity or water, and telephones and computers were rendered useless.

Travers posted a message on the charity’s website saying the site was still working and was able to process donations. He added that all personal data was "safe and secure".

Since the fire, finance staff have been based in a temporary office. All other staff have been working from home.

A spokeswoman said staff were expected to return to the building by the end of next month, if not sooner.

She declined to answer questions about the cost of the damage or provide further details about how the server caught fire.

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