Volunteers devasted after Father Chris Riley's Youth Off The Streets Maitland Op Shop fire

Volunteers have been left devastated after Father Riley’s Op Shop caught fire at Maitland.

Police are treating the fire at the Youth Off The Streets op shop at on Sunday night as suspicious.

Firefighters worked to contain the High Street fire after a 000 call was placed about 10pm.

Witnesses told police two males were seen in the area when the blaze broke out.

Police are investigating and are appealing for witnesses to come forward.

Volunteers of 20 years, Fay and Noel Allwood were lost for words trying to describe the scene.

“I can’t explain it,” she said on Monday morning. “I could cry right now.”

“I’m gutted,” Mr Allwood added. “We’ve all worked so bloody hard to keep it going.”

The fire came after the op shop lost one of its faithful volunteers Molly Goodbun, who died from a gunshot wound at her home in October.

“It’s another blow,” Mrs Allwood said.

The op shop was due to close for Christmas on December 22 and re-open next year.

However a Youth Off The Streets spokesperson said they were not sure when the store would re-open.

The store is not able to accept any donations while it is closed.

Volunteer Les Prothero said it was a setback for the young people that the charity supported in the lead up to Christmas.

“The kids, that’s what Father Riley’s is for,” he said.

“They’ll just have to do without,” Mr Allwood said.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop