THE OWNERS of a drama studio are appealing for help after a devasting fire on Saturday threatens to destroy their business.
Lauren Rice and her husband Conan run Dance Company Studios, hiring dance and drama studios to 20 other organisations and running dance and drama classes of their own.
Around 200 children benefited from the facilities in Beckenham High Street.
But in the early hours of December 6, a warehouse adjoining the business went up in flames and the fire soon ripped through the couple’s three dance studios.
Around 60 firefighters and 12 fire engines took nine hours to put out the fire and twenty-five people were evacuated from their homes.
The cause of the blaze is under investigation but in the mean time the Rices have nowhere to go.
Mrs Rice says she helped take over the studios with her husband four years ago and the business has grown to become an important part of the community.
The 45-year-old said: “I have got children and parents who are relying on me. We need to find somewhere else or we are going to go under.
“Looking for another place that is suitable is like looking for a needle in a haystack.
“At the moment we are having to turn people away because we can’t find anywhere else to put them.”
Until the expensive wood was destroyed by the fire, the music and dance studios had sprung maple flooring.
The fire also shattered metres of mirrored walls and destroyed pianos and CD players.
Mrs Rice says the original renovations cost close to £250,000, adding “We really built this place up and a lot of people and businesses are relying on us to reopen but i just don’t know what is going to happen now.
“We are so upset about the whole thing, our livelihood is at stake and its all very sad.
“We have built up a community in music and the arts in Beckenham and if we can’t find somewhere else to go I can’t bare to think about what will happen.”
Anyone interested in helping to find Dance Company Studios a new home should call 020 8402 2424.