| |How nobody cut themselves on the broken glass shards is a mystery
Door lock and facing smashed
Guides kit rifled through
Powder even on the stage
10 Kilograms of powder
Church Hall Break In - 2 July 2015
|Report and photos - Jim Paterson|
Just like snow. Hall covered in fire extinguisher dry powderSix
am is a little early for my alarm call and the phone ringing with
a call from Bonnyrigg police station could only herald bad news. I
met two police officers outside the church hall on Thursday 2nd July to
see a smashed window and the main door swinging open in the breeze. As
we entered the full extent of our uninvited guests became apparent.
small side room had been shoulder charged to break the simple
yale lock, which ripped the lock keeper and door facing clean off the
wall. For what? An old upright piano and some chairs, used by the choir
for practice sessions. Some of the Guides equipment had been thrown
about, no doubt to see if there was anything interesting. No chance of
that, only games equipment and craft materials.
was then I noticed a light white dust covering the vestibule corridor
leading to the hall. 'It gets worse' reported one of the police
officers. Opening the doors into the main hall one would have thought
it was Christmas rather then mid summer. Everywhere was covered with a
fine white powder, which I soon found out was from two of the dry
powder fire extinguishers we have in the new kitchen and around the
hall. Floor, tables, chairs, everything covered in this talcum powder
like finish. The two extinguishers contained 10 Kilograms
of powder, that's 22lbs in old weight, a lot of powder.
police dog team had been through to pick up a scent of the culprits, so
it was down to us to clean the place up for our invited guests, for use
on Sunday morning after the service for tea, coffee and a chat.
We found out later that a similar breakin of the South Church
hall had occurred on the Tuesday evening.
Despite the holiday
season Agnes Ovenstone managed to round up a team of ladies to help
with the cleaning of all the mess. We gathered first thing Friday
morning so that the dust cloud in the hall could settle.
powder fire extinguishers, while not toxic, contain
ammonium phosphate and ammonium sulfate, which can irritate skin, so we
used gloves and
avoided inhaling any fumes. we vacuumed up the residue, taking several
loads to suck up the 10 Kilograms, and then washed all the floors and
tables. The chairs were carried out into the garden and washed down,
all 100 or so of them.
let the fire extinguishers off would have had difficulty avoiding
of the powder, which is one of the biggest dangers with fire
extinguisher powder. It is very
irritating to mucous membranes and may cause difficulties with
breathing. So along with getting it on their skin, it may have left
them with an irritating legacy. Difficult to have any sympathy, as they
should not have been there, or done it in the first place. I hope the
lessons have been learned. The police took the empty extinguishers to
check for fingerprints, so if you were one of the culprits you may
receive a knock on your door sometime soon.
All cleaned up, ready for use againA big thanks to Agnes Ovenstone, Margaret Black, Helen Sutherland, Dorothy Paterson, Christine Jackson, Margaret Barry, Carole Lough, who
did sterling work, and our regular cleaner Sheena Andrews who cleaned
out the kitchen. If the congregation had not been told of the break in
they would have been non the wiser. In fact the place was probably
cleaner than it normally is having been washed from top to bottom.