Cumbrian garage gutted in runaway blaze started by spark
Last updated at 12:17, Monday, 06 August 2012
A garage boss has told of the terrifying moment a raging fire started that gutted his workshop and sparked a major alert.
David Connor, part-owner of the Oakline Garage, near Silloth, said the flames spread so fast it was“unbelievable”.
The blaze prompted firefighters to set up a safety cordon due to fears over gas and asbestos and neighbours were urged to shut their windows and stay indoors.
“I can’t believe it happened,” Mr Connor told the News & Star. “I wouldn’t want to experience this again.”
Mr Connor was making a horse box for his daughter when the blaze began at about 6pm on Thursday.
What began as a spark landing in the wrong place ended up as a fire with a 200m exclusion zone placed around the building.
He said: “I was making the horse box and trying to put the springs on the door.
“A spark must have gone onto the seat and it happened so fast it was unbelievable.”
Firefighters spent almost five hours battling the blaze at the garage, which repairs commercial vehicles.
The building contained cannisters of acetylene gas, which is used in welding and can be explosive.
Asbestos was also thought to be in the building. Engines from Silloth, Aspatria, Wigton and Carlisle were called out.
No-one was hurt in the blaze but it has meant the workshop of the family-owned business will have to be demolished. Parts of the walls and roof have already been removed because they were structurally unsound.
Mr Connor said he was grateful for the help and support from the community.
He added: “We will have to rebuild and start again. We’re waiting on the insurance company coming to see us and hopefully everything will get sorted.
“I’d like to thank everyone who has helped out because it looks like a bombsite. People have offered premises for us to work in.
“We’ve had customers who are going to stick by us until we’re sorted so I want to thank them for being loyal.”
First published at 11:30, Monday, 06 August 2012
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk