Fire at the Mr Bricolage store in Saint-Laurent-des-Arbres, “the employees had the right reflex to evacuate the customers”

Fire at the Mr Bricolage store in Saint-Laurent-des-Arbres, “the employees had the right reflex to evacuate the customers”

Le magasin Mr Bricolage de Saint-Laurent-des-Arbres a été ravagé par les flammes. C.B.

Au lendemain de l’incendie qui a détruit le magasin Mr Bricolage de Saint-Laurent-des-Arbres, mardi 4 juin, experts, gendarmes et pompiers étaient sur le site. Des solutions vont être proposées aux employés.

From the Mr Bricolage store, in operation for 7 years in the Tesan area in Saint-Laurent-des-Arbres, there is nothing left after the fire which ravaged the building 1 200 m2 and its outdoor space, Tuesday June 4  Instead, heaps of charred rubble, parts of the metal framework deformed by the flames…

After putting out the fire, in the early evening of Tuesday June 4, around thirty firefighters from Gard intervened throughout the night "to monitor residual outbreaks and start clearing” explains Commander Jean-Pierre Passuti, who was present at the site. And on Wednesday morning, about fifteen of them were on the lookout, while a mechanical shovel cleared the way so they could finish putting out the few remaining fires.

The accidental theory is favored

Also on site were gendarmes from the Nîmes criminal identification unit and the Bagnols-sur-Cèze research brigade, which is conducting the investigation. The accidental track is preferred according to experts who explain that "in this type of DIY store, there are a lot of products that are combustible, such as paints… The fire started in an annex shed attached to the store, a wall could have slowed the spread".

Wednesday morning, Mathieu Rubis, owner of the building and the business of the Mr Bricolage franchise store, and Ludovic Fouquet, regional manager of the Mr Bricolage group, reassured the somewhat shocked employees in front of the ;rsquo;extent of the damage caused by the disaster. "The employees had the right reflex by quickly evacuating the 15 customers according to the fire procedure, as soon as there was thick black smoke. They stopped some people from going back inside when they had forgotten something" says the representative of the brand. "There was no hesitation. This responsiveness shows that fire training works !".

The facade of Cafés Richard watered
by firefighters to prevent the spread

The staff of the Cafés Richard roaster, located next to Mr Bricolage, also left quickly. "The fire started on the other side of Mr Bricolage, but when the wind picked up, the firefighters decided to hose down our facade" testifies director Olivier Milhaud. The building was thus not affected.

The nine employees of the store ravaged by the flames should quickly know their fate. "We warn the labor inspector" Ludovic Fouquet said yesterday morning. "We are considering different possibilities: reclassifying them in another Mr.Bricolage not too far away, or in a Tout-faire store (Rubis materials). But we impose nothing on employees. There can also be technical unemployment. D this Friday we will make reclassification proposals" he assures.  The regional manager can count on the network of Mr Bricolage franchisees. "Some people called me to help" he likes.

The possibility of installing a pop-up store under a marquee on the site was also mentioned. "We chose this solution when a store of our brand burned down in Vigan a few years ago. This allows less operating loss, the time of reconstruction" recalls Ludovic Fouquet.

"We will have continuity with our customers who will be able to contact our other Mr Bricolage store in Avignon" announces Mathieu Rubis. At the end of the afternoon, the site was secured, and the time is now "to files" to rebuild the store, he stressed.

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