Appeal raises £26,000 for staff of fire-ruined gym in St Albans – BBC

The owner of a gym which was destroyed in a fire has praised the "incredible" response from the community.
CrossFit in St Albans caught alight on Monday after a fire at a car workshop in an industrial area off London Road spread to other premises.
Almost £26,000 has been raised to help the gym pay its staff, but its owner is now looking for new premises.
Ben Stacey said: "We are where we are and we've just got to keep moving forward, but we're feeling the love."
The fire, which is believed to have started at about 11:00 BST, sent a plume of thick black smoke across the city.
St Albans City & District Council said it was offering support to all of the businesses affected by the fire.
Mr Stacey, who is married to former Holby City actor Rosie Marcel, said his gym was "completely gone". It was two units away from where the fire started and had 11 staff and hundreds of members.
"We sat at the golf course behind the units and just basically watched our home for the last nine years sort of melt away," he said.
"Everything has completely burnt and melted inside, [there is] nothing to be saved or salvaged.
"The building has been deemed unsafe now, the roof has caved in and the basement is flooded so it's very dangerous.
"We are just so relieved that no-one has been hurt and immensely grateful for the efforts and bravery of the Hertfordshire fire fighters and police."
Mr Stacey said contents insurance would "take the sting" out of the loss, but he did not have any form of business interruption cover, as this was difficult for a gym to get after Covid.
"It's been a tough couple of days," he said. "But there's been an incredible response from the local community, they are all coming together and helping us with raising some money to pay our staff whilst we either find a new home or in the worst case scenario until they are able to find new jobs.
"The quicker we can get back up and running, the less financial strain there will be."
Mr Stacey added that he was working with the district council to see if they had a building he could use.
In an Instagram post, Rosie Marcel, who played Jac Naylor in Holby City for 16 years before it ended earlier this year, said the fire had been "the end of CrossFit St Albans".
She added that she had "never met anyone who worked so hard" as her husband.
"After I lost my job he has tirelessly continued to keep it afloat to support us," she said.
"He brought that gym back from the brink after Covid and now it's gone."
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