Phone lines for the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) have been reconnected following Wednesday night’s fire at its headquarters in Hemel Hempstead, the company has announced, and its email service has been reinstated too.
“Phone lines have now been restored and we will continue to improve these services over the coming days,” a statement says.
“All deposits remain protected, data is safe, and our website is operating as normal.”
TDS has endured one of the worst nightmares any business can imagine; its office was gutted by a ‘major fire’ at its headquarters in the Maylands industrial estate north east of the town centre.
As we reported, the blaze started during the late afternoon of Wednesday in the roof of the building (see right) and soon engulfed most of the block rented by TDS as huge flames leapt in to the air.
A significant proportion of the building, which is within a complex called The Progression Centre, was severely damaged during the fire, which was put out by 8pm that night.
The Mark Road site housed 89 members of staff including management, finance, IT and customer service teams for both TDS’ Insured and Custodial schemes. 19 adjudicators are based off-site.
TDS says its business continuity plan swung into action as soon as the extent of the damage to is office was clear, and senior staff at the firm were working until at least 3am that night.
As part of the continuity plan, staff have been working from sites around Hemel Hempstead and from Monday (January 14) staff will move in to local, interim office space. Longer-term solutions are being reviewed.
Steve Harriott (left), Chief Executive of TDS, said: “It’s a credit to staff and the processes we have in place that this serious situation has in no way affected our operational ability to protect deposits. In fact, less that 24 hours after the building was evacuated, our average call response times were already back to our industry-beating levels at 28 seconds.
“I’d like to thank our staff for the calm and professional way they reacted to the situation, the exceptional work of the Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and the wider industry, partners and stakeholders for the messages of support we’ve received.”