A young child was left with nightmares after she witnessed an “explosion” that sparked a huge fire in Pode Hole.
Staff at Elderkin Autos garage and a customer with two young children were at the Dozens Bank premises just before 10am on Saturday when the fire broke out in an adjacent warehouse housing 4,000 tonnes of potatoes.
One young girl said to be around eight years old was just yards away when the building went up in flames.
Thankfully nobody was injured as Elderkin staff attempted to save as many of their customer’s vehicles as possible.
They did however lose around 15 vehicles and a whole host of equipment the family business had built up in the two years since it started, including a MOT station that only opened last October.
A spokesman for Elderkin Autos said: “We’re absolutely devastated. We’ve lost nearly everything.
“Two members of staff were working on Saturday morning and there was a customer there with two young children.
“The first thing the staff knew of it was they heard a loud explosion in the potato warehouse and you can see on our CCTV cameras then that the flames just engulfed the warehouse.
“One of our customers and their child saw it happen.
“Our staff tried to move as many customer vehicles and equipment as possible.
“They also tried to hold the fire off using fire extinguishers but the smoke was billowing in.
“The children were very shaken. Apparently the little girl who saw the explosion had nightmares but thankfully there were no injuries.”
The fire itself began in a warehouse being let by Willow Tree Potatoes and Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue say the cause is currently “undetermined”.
It continued to smoulder for three days with the last of seven fire crews who had been in attendance left the site at 1.25pm on Monday.
Lincolnshire Fire urged nearby residents not to leave windows and doors open as a plume of smoke that could be seen for miles around billowed across South Holland.
A spokesman for Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, said: “The fire has caused severe damage to a workshop and approximately 12 cars with fire spread to an adjacent framed warehouse used for potato storage.
“There was moderate damage by heat and fire to approximately 4,000 tonnes of potatoes and damage by heat to two fuel bowsers and adjacent trees.
“The cause is currently undetermined.”
Despite losing so much equipment Elderkin is determined to re-open next week. A spokesman for Elderkin continued “We’re a family business set up two years ago and we’ve invested a lot of time and money in to it setting it up and making it work.
“We’d had a new MOT station installed on site just last October.
“It’s our livelihood.
“Now everything’s gone including 15 vehicles, some of which were owned by customers.
“We’ve had a fantastic response from suppliers, particularly Snap-On Tools, which has allowed us to purchase equipment in the hope we’ll be back working to a limited capacity next week.
“Parkers, who we leased the building from have been very accommodating since we started, have offered us an alternative warehouse to use.
“Our customers are fantastic and loyal too.
“We’re already having people ring to check how we are and booking in for next week.”