The Bridgewater Gagebrook Uniting Church has re-opened its op shop doors again after the building was severely damaged by a deliberately lit fire on 6 April.
About $35,000 damaged was caused to the Tottenham Rd property, located in Hobart’s northern suburbs. The fire and smoke damage destroyed all goods housed inside.
The congregation has spent about 10 weeks fixing the insured building and securing donated goods, which allowed the doors to re-open on Tuesday.
Uniting Churches from throughout Hobart joined the call for goods with Bridgewater-Gagebrook Uniting Church council chair Rev David Parker saying that there was still a need for more blankets, winter-weight sheets and towels.
Mr Parker said the congregation was thrilled to be able to reopen the shop.
“The dedication of our volunteers to provide a friendly place and an opportunity for the local community to pick up essential items of clothing, homewares, toys and linen at minimal cost is greatly appreciated,” he said.
Mr Parker said the shop also served as an important meeting hub for the wider community, and that had been greatly missed over the last three months.
Op shop volunteer manager Pauline Kelly said volunteers were devastated by the blaze and disappointed that the service to the local community had been disrupted for so long.
“Through the hard work of the volunteers and generous donations from the community we are able to now re-open,” Ms Kelly said.
The shop opens from 9.30 am until 2 pm on weekdays.
The blaze is being investigated by Tasmania police and anyone with information is urged to contact Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.