The owner of the car workshop that was gutted by a huge blaze over the weekend is praising the work of the fire service in making sure it did not destroy his entire business.
The fire broke out around 10pm on Saturday night at a workshop behind MS Ford, which is next door to the BP petrol station and a host of LPG tanks.
The blaze drew firefighters from across the region in 12 appliances.
It caused the closure of the State Highway for several hours as onlookers watched them douse the fire, which also threw out toxic smoke.
The fire was extinguished at about 3am, however, Haven Rd remained closed for some time with diversions in place.
There were no reports of injuries or any people in the building.
“Not often do we get a fire with all the different aspects that this one had,” says senior station officer Craig Davies.
Not only did firefighters have to contend with the threat of the petrol station and gas tanks but the workshop was also full of hazards, including acetylene and oxygen bottles along with 150 air bags exploding.
“A huge thanks to all the crews that came in to help us,” Craig says.
But the biggest praise was from Alan Kirby, who runs MS Ford. He was on site watching the fire unfold on Saturday night.
“It was all go then,” he says. “But the fire service was amazing. We lost all the workshop bays but not the reception or the offices. When you saw the fire, you thought ‘wow, how did they do that?’”
It is still not clear what started the fire and police and investigators have not said whether it was suspicious or not.
“I would be gutted to think it was suspicions.”
Alan says the fire has brought out the best in the community with even other car dealerships offering them workshop space so they can go about their business.
“It’s been amazing.” Alan says it is likely the workshop will be demolished, and they will rebuild.