VANDALS caused mayhem at a doctors' surgery when they started a fire in an office.
The fire, at around 3.20pm on Sunday, caused extensive damage to the surgery off Northwich Road, Weaverham, and also left a layer of soot over everything.
Staff, including several doctors, rallied round to help in the clear up, coming in on their day off with mops and buckets. Several minor operations had to be cancelled but surgeries went ahead as usual on Monday morning, with one switched to a different room.
Practice manager Freda O'Connor said: 'We were faced with a huge task but we managed to rally enough volunteers to get the place in a reasonable state for Monday.'
The fire badly damaged an office and also destroyed part of the roof at the rear of the building. Four windows were blown out in the blaze and the heat and smoke caused extensive damage to an adjacent reception area.
Temporary work stations were arranged and today a portable building is being set up outside to act as a reception area.
It took firefighters from Northwich around 15 minutes to bring it under control and a further two hours damping down and clearing the worst of the smoke away.
The cost of the damage is expected to run into many thousands of pounds because not only will office equipment and furnishings have to be replaced but the building will also need recarpeting and redecorating.
Hero of the hour was IT specialist Geoff Leigh, who lives on Castle and works for the Central Cheshire Primary Care Trust.
Mrs O'Connor said: 'We rang him at home on Sunday and he came out straight away.'
The fire is the latest in a string of incidents which have plagued Weaverham in recent weeks.