Shropshire Star

Welshpool fire: Staff gutted as 'arson attack' costs carpet firm thousands

Staff at a carpet firm hit by a suspected arson attack have spoken of their shock at losing thousands of pounds worth of stock.

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Carpets about to be delivered to customers went up in smoke during the warehouse blaze in Welshpool on Thursday night.

It left staff at Canalside Carpets rushing to make alternative arrangements in order to ensure deliveries could still be made.

The fire tore through the warehouse of the carpet warehouse along with an adjoining building and carpentry business.

The scene of the fire in Welshpool

Fire investigators remained on site at Canalside Carpets and SWG carpentry in Welshpool all day yesterday trying to establish the cause of the blaze.

A 48-year-man was arrested and was last night being questioned in connection with the blaze, which broke out at about 11.45pm on Thursday.

A cause has not yet been determined, however those who work at the firm say it is thought to be a suspected arson attack.

Five crews from Welshpool, Montgomery, Llanfair Caereinion and Oswestry were called to tackle the blaze which took until 4.30am yesterday to get under control and left the site off Severn Road “quite badly damaged”, according to Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service control room.

The fire in full flow. Photo: Lau Davies
Police arrested a 48-year-old man in connection with the fire

Police also attended and warned residents nearby that they may have heard small aerosol explosions in the area due to the blaze.

Emergency services confirmed nobody was hurt in the fire. Jacqui Gough, who works for the firm, said she was “struggling to get her head around” how it happened.

She said: “What’s happened is just unbelievable. We’re all absolutely gutted, frustrated and of course tired because obviously it happened late last night.

"We’re not really sure how this has happened, and at the moment that is under investigation but if this was an arson attack, I hope the perpetrators are caught because this isn’t fair.

"We’re a local, home-grown business, and this has cost us thousands, it’s too early to say how much but certainly thousands.”

The aftermath of the blaze

Ms Gough said the fire destroyed two employees’ vehicles – a car, van, stock, machinery and materials including timber, plastic and vinyl.

Initially the firm was planning on cancelling anyone due to get carpet fitted yesterday and in the coming days but have insisted it is business as usual as they are able to pick up the carpets straight from their suppliers instead.

Ms Gough said: “To begin with we did predict the worst because we have had stock destroyed but because of us having such a good relationship with our supplier, we’re able to get our stock directly from them, which means it’s business as usual thank goodness.”

“As well as being grateful for our supplier, I’d also like to say a big thank you to the emergency services for their rapid response and for doing such a great job, but also I would like to say thank you for the support of local people, who have come up to check everything’s okay. It really means a lot.”

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