A devastated Sleaford businessman has vowed to be up and running again as soon as possible after fire ripped through his business.
Cliff Jackson, who owns Cliff Jackson’s Car Body Repair workshop at Holdingham, saw his business reduced to a burnt-out shell and thanked everyone who has rallied round him since then – promising to be back in business.
Mr Jackson, whose career in the car repair trade has spanned 40 years, said everything in the building was destroyed; all his tools, equipment, materials, paint and even a few customers’ cars which had come in for repairs.
Fire crews from Sleaford, Billingborough, Billinghay and Grantham attended the scene at around 8.30am on Wednesday when the building was well alight, with several eye witnesses describing “thick smoke” which could be seen as far away as the A17 and A15.
Mr Jackson said that it was “devastating” to watch the incident as he took shelter in the neighbouring Hockmeyer’s Motors.
“I felt sick at the time, it took what seemed like a lifetime for the fire crews to arrive but they were really good and did what they could. I just wanted to go home, I think I was in shock,” he said.
Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue have confirmed that the cause of the fire was a spark from a grinder, and the exact cost of the damage is not yet known.
Mr Jackson said: “I’d like to thank all the people who have offered to help during this time, especially the customers for everything they’ve done, and hopefully I’ll see them in the future.
“I’ve had so many offers of help from people rallying round. They have been great, I can’t thank them enough.”
He added that he plans to get up and running again in a temporary workshop until he can move back to his fire-damaged base.
Cliff Jackson’s was originally based in Creamery Yard, and has been at its current site since 2006.