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Thursday, 30 October 2014

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VIDEO: Blaze destroys Cockermouth garage

A Cockermouth service station garage was destroyed by fire last weekend.

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FIRE SCENE: The P&R Benn Filling Station, Cockermouth

Twenty-five firefighters tackled the blaze at the P&R Benn Filling Station, in Station Road, on Sunday.

It ripped through the shop, forecourt and storage and workshop areas.

Part of Station Road had to be closed and traffic was diverted.

Owners Robin and Paul Benn, who also own the town’s Oakhurst garage, were celebrating their 30th anniversary in business in the town this week.

Robin runs the Station Road garage, known locally as Fairfield garage, with his wife Julie, while Paul runs the Oakhurst site with son Andrew.

He lost his £25,000 Ford Capri, which he raced around the UK, in the blaze and said it would be months before the garage reopened.

He vowed to restart the business.

Mr Benn said: “Everything is gone. The forecourt shop will be shut for the foreseeable future and we are talking about months, not weeks, before we can open again.

“We will turn it around and get up and running again.

“The filling station is a community in itself and people use it as a meeting point where they can gossip and talk.

“My brother and I have spent 30 years building up the business and I am absolutely gutted to see it like this but I am glad everybody got away unscathed.”

Mr Benn said the van hire service will continue running from the Station Road site, but it would be two to three weeks before he would be able to start at the workshop again.

Investigations are continuing into how the fire started. A police spokesman said they were not treating it as suspicious.

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