Fundraising appeal launched after Rotherham dance studio goes up in flames

A Rotherham dance school is desperately trying to replace children’s costumes which were destroyed in a huge blaze, in time for a big show.

By The Star Newsroom
Sunday, 21 April, 2019, 13:56

Flames tore through Julie Turner Stage Academy’s studio on Laughton Road, in Dinnington, during the early hours of yesterday morning and also destroyed Limelands Florist below.

Among the costumes and other equipment which went up in smoke were outfits which had been specially designed for a big performance by youngsters at London’s indigo at the O2 arena in June.

The aftermath of the fire

A fundraising appeal has been launched to help the academy replace those costumes, which were bought in the first place thanks to donations, and other essential items.

Julie Turner, who started the school in 1987 and has had the Laughton Road studio for around 25 years, told how she had been left devastated by the fire, which she said is believed to have been started deliberately outside the building.

“There are no words which can describe how I felt when I first saw what had happened that morning,” she said.

“But we’re determined to carry on with our classes from next Wednesday, as planned. Our landlord’s looking for a temporary venue and if we need to we will use church halls for now.

“The response from the community has been amazing. We’re part of a dance association and we’ve had big donations from schools in Loughborough, Cumbria and Chesterfield, as well as members of the local community. We’re so grateful to everyone who’s donated.”

The school, which has a second studio in Dinnington, teaches around 70 students, from toddlers to adults, each week.

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Limelands Florist, which has another branch in Maltby, has also thanked people for their support following the fire.

Posting on Facebook, the store’s owners said: “Thank you everyone for your comments. We have a fabulous community spirit in Dinnington

To donate to the dance school, visit the Julie Turner Stage Academy page at JustGiving.com.

A florists and dance studio in Rotherham have gone up in flames.

Limelands Florists in Dinnington and the dance studio above were both destroyed in the blaze, which broke out during the early hours of this morning.

Firefighters were called to the building on Laughton Road just before 3am and spent nearly four hours tackling the fire before leaving at around 6.50am.

A spokeswoman for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said the premises had been ‘totally destroyed’.

She said no one was inside the property when firefighters arrived, and there are not believed to have been any injuries.