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Community / Moorfield worker who lost belongings in fire says it was ‘heartbreaking’ to see hotel burn down

Among the items Malin Roberts lost in the Moorfield Hotel was an original photo from her grandparents’ wedding

A WOMAN working and living at the Moorfield Hotel who lost all of her belongings in the fire earlier this week said it was “heartbreaking” to see the building burn to the ground.

Malin Roberts, who was the food and beverage supervisor at the hotel, said she was left “speechless of the generosity of this community” after thousands of pounds were raised for staff and residents in addition numerous donations of clothes.

Malin Roberts.

She said she had lived in the hotel for the last year and among the items she lost was an original copy of her late grandparents’ wedding photo.

The hotel caught fire in the early hours of Monday before it was due to close in early August.

Everyone in the hotel – around 70 people – were evacuated safely.

Malin was not staying in the hotel that night as she was with her partner in Lerwick.

She said she first heard of the fire after waking up at 4am.

“I checked my phone that was full of messages and missed phone calls from friends and one of my closest friends Mary that also works at the hotel,” Malin said.

“So I got up and listened to all voice notes they’ve left and it felt surreal watching the videos my friend Sophie had taken from her house not far from the hotel.

“I was in shock and worried that someone was still in the building but luckily Mary knew that everyone had got out so that was a relief to find out.”

Malin said she started to think about all of her belongings that were in the hotel.

“Things like clothes and the computer can easily be replaced, but it was all my photos of family and my late grandparents’ wedding photo that I cherished a lot,” she said.

“I am from Stockholm, Sweden and have lived in Shetland for 10 years now. To have a lot of photos of my mum, dad, sister grandparents when we grew up have been important to me.

“It is photos that I have kept that had meaning to me and been a comfort to look at living abroad.”

Other items which were destroyed in the fire included artwork Malin had been drawing.

She said the morning of the fire was “filled with people messaging and checking in I was okay”.

This included those behind the fundraiser and clothes collection.

Malin travelled to Brae from Lerwick and at one point she stood with a workmate and friend at the closed road near the hotel to take in the sight of the destroyed hotel.

The Moorfield Hotel site on Tuesday afternoon. Photo: Shetland News

“It was painful to see the building almost totally gone, it was only the skeleton of the building left. I could see the elevators still standing.”

Malin said she was given clothes and toiletries at a donations collection point at the Mid Brae Inn, which left her “speechless”.

“It can’t replace what’s lost but to feel the care from everyone makes this whole thing bearable,” she said.

“I have worked for the hotel for six years and I know the Total guests well and have made friends for life amongst them and staff.

“We always call ourselves the Moorfield family and we all were grieving the redundancy and were coming to terms with that, so this has been hard and feels heartbreaking to come to an end like this.

“I will always remember the good times and laughs we had over the years and will always keep the hotel at a special place in my heart.”