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Devastated family business owner reopens less than 24 hours after blaze

PUBLISHED: 15:37 10 December 2019 | UPDATED: 15:37 10 December 2019

Patrick Hannant, 60, said restoring the secondary workshop could take up to a year. Picture: Ruth Lawes

Patrick Hannant, 60, said restoring the secondary workshop could take up to a year. Picture: Ruth Lawes

Archant

A rural garage owner has vowed to "look on the bright side" after fire tore through a building, leaving the family business without electricity or water.

A Robin Hood S3 Kit car - a two year refurbishment project - was destroyed in the blaze. Picture: Ruth LawesA Robin Hood S3 Kit car - a two year refurbishment project - was destroyed in the blaze. Picture: Ruth Lawes

Oliver Hannant, 26, from Buxton, runs the Pound Garage on Buxton Road in Frettenham and said he was devastated when a fire broke out at the 36-year-old family business yesterday afternoon - but reopened today at 8am.

Four fire crews were sent to tackle the blaze which destroyed the secondary workshop, tools including a tyre machine, and a two-year passion project - the fix-up of a Robin Hood S3 kit car.

But Mr Hannant, who has been in charge of the garage for three years and is the only full-time member of staff, has pledged to remain optimistic.

He said: "It was a disappointment but you've got to look on the bright side. We will probably struggle for a few weeks and the loss of the building will take a chunk of income, but I'm already servicing a car from a passer-by this morning.

The Pound Garage opened at 8am the morning after the blaze, and are using a generator while the electricity is off. Picture: Ruth LawesThe Pound Garage opened at 8am the morning after the blaze, and are using a generator while the electricity is off. Picture: Ruth Lawes

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"And the community in Frettenham has really rallied around us. Even staff at the pub, The Rose and Crown, which was forced shut by the fire, came over to offer us drinks while it was all kicking off."

Read more: Fire tears through rural garage business

Mr Hannant was in the office building processing an invoice when a parts delivery driver alerted him to billowing smoke from the secondary workshop.

He said: "There aren't any words to describe how I felt when I realised it was a fire. The first thing I did was drag all the gas bottles out and then I grabbed every fire extinguisher I could but the flames were out of control."

His silent business partner and uncle, Patrick Hannant, 60, added: "We just had to stand and watch it go. But now we have just got to try and continue."

The fire destroyed the secondary workshop, used for storage and long-term car repairs, and has cut off all electricity and water to the rest of the garage.

Mr Hannant said: "That is the bigger problem. At the moment we are using a temporary generator with a four-hour fuel life but there isn't enough energy for the machine which lifts cars so I'll have to go underneath them on the floor which isn't that pleasant. Hopefully it won't be long until it is fixed."

He added the repair of the secondary workshop will take up to a year according to the insurance company.

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