The humanitarian crisis in the Calais refugee camp continues to spiral despite the best efforts of volunteers.
When some of our crew drove down to asses the situation and see if lives were at risk, they immediately pinpointed a way in which Arcadia’s particular areas of knowledge might be of use. Within hours, a gigantic and all too familiar sound was heard –a gas explosion. Running toward the first plumes of smoke, a second gas bottle blew, shooting a terrifying fireball into the sky.
After years of harnessing fireballs safely, the crew instantly knew what was at stake. People were scrambling with buckets to water points that dribbled slowly, and the scale of the emergency magnified. The fire brigade were called, but they took over 45 minutes to arrive the few kilometeres from the station. The growing inferno was left to those desperate to save their families and their shelters with no equipment to fight the blaze.
If there’s one thing we know a bit about, it's handling gas and fire safely. Profoundly marked by the institutional inaction and the utter panic in the camp, the crew are not only going back to fully inspect gas appliances and gas lines, but have come up with a project that will hopefully help people to protect themselves from fires like this. There are on average 3 a month.
With the support of members of the public we built a fire engine that is suitable for use in the challenging conditions in Calais. We have also trained volunteers to be able to run and maintain it.
We are so grateful for all of the amazing donations that we have had, you are all amazing. Many people have asked if they can still donate, of course all money received will still go towards both the upkeep of the fire truck and also fire equipment for the camp. massive thanks from us! You can donate here.