Heavy snowfall causes disruption

A nursery had to be evacuated and schools were closed as the heavy snow hit the South East this week.

Firefighters were called to Butterfly Day Nursery, Wakefield Road, Hemsworth, at around 8.45am on Monday when a man pulled into its car park after his silver Peugeot caught fire in six inches of snow.

Crew commander Andrew Houlton at Hemsworth Fire Station said: “He was driving home from work and his car set on fire. There was smoke coming off the car and it was on fire at the side. It was a small fire but we took the children out of the way.”

The nursery’s deputy manager Claire Lumb said: “We had to get out really quickly and a lady who worked in Hemsworth dental practice said we could wait in there as she didn’t have any patients due to the weather.

“Thank God for her because it meant we could keep out of the snow and keep warm before we went back into the nursery.”

Mrs Lumb said the staff and children evacuated the building after a man from the post office ran down to the nursery tell them there was a car on fire in their car park. The nursery staff quickly grabbed the children and some blankets before leaving through the fire door at the back.

Mrs Lumb added the children were “fine” and no one was injured.

Nine schools in the South East were closed on Monday due to the weather, including Hemsworth Arts and Community College, Minsthorpe Community College and Hemsworth St Helen’s Primary, which was also shut on Tuesday.

Hemsworth market was also closed on Tuesday due to the weather conditions

A new initiative to help the vulnerable and elderly during extreme weather was introduced by South Elmsall Town Council. They will arrange for basic food supplies, such as bread and milk, to be delivered and for the collection of prescriptions.

The council has also invested in a snow plough and spreader for bad weather.

Clare Baxter, town clerk, said: “We treat our elderly residents as a priority and offer them a vital contact point to enable them to stop indoors and keep warm while we collect the essential food supplies and medicines.  We have six members of staff that run the scheme and all carry identification badges when they are out and about in the community.”

The Social Centre, Westfield Lane is open Monday to Friday 9am and 3pm for their winter weather provision.