A business owner has been left without power after a major blaze destroyed 1,000 of the recycled shop mannequins she hires out and sells.
Firefighters were called to Roz Edwards' Mannakin business on land at Fulbeck on Tuesday night after a small bonfire got out of control and spread to some of her stock stored outside nearby.
Plumes of black smoke were seen by residents in the area as two crews from Sleaford, Waddington and Newark crews tackled the large fire in the yard of the premises on Brant Road, Fulbeck.
According to Lincolnshire Fire Service, the alert came in just before 7pm to the business, which boasts London fashion week designers and TV shows like Top Gear among its clients.
Apparently the fire started from a bonfire which got out of control and spread to mannequins which her son and a friend had been carefully assembling ready for sale at an upcoming open day when people buy them as props for parties and hallowe'en. More to Ms Edwards' horror, the flames then licked around a container storing her collection of rare mannequins, many of which she says are 'irreplaceable'.
She told The Standard: "It's very sad. We normally have a bonfire for garden rubbish. The mannequins were all piled up and the fire just spread and they all went up.
"I got a call as I was at my daughter's school and was told I had to get back as there was a fire. As I drove over the hill I could see it was not a small fire. Our guys tried to do what they could but then had to get out to the road. It was a horrible smell. Thankfully no-one was in the buildings. There is some damage to the roof but it has not gone into the building."
She estimated the main bulk of the mannequins normally sell for about £20 each, equating to a £20,000 loss of revenue, but she hoped some of the rare mannequins scorched in the container could be untouched and saved.
"I have been collecting them for 10 years. Some go back to the 1970s and you cannot just pick another one up," she said.
She said neighbours came to help make sure there were no gas canisters close to the fire and a farmer, Neil Lane, brought across his digger to help the firefighters get to the root of the fire.
Ms Edwards said: "They managed to contain the fire but the cooling plastic and fibreglass was fusing together and forming a waterproof layer preventing them from spraying the burning plastic beneath. They had to dig a layer away, spray it, then dig another layer away. Without all this help the firemen said they would still be fighting it. It still took four or five hours to put it out."
The fire was finally extinguished and the last crews left the scene at 3am Wednesday morning and firefighters returned later to inspect the site.
Ms Edwards now says she is faced with the clean-up operation and is in need of skips and diggers to clear the surreal scene of carnage - melted and charred mannequin body parts heaped in her yard. She still has thousands more dummies untouched, stored in other parts of the site.
She said the fire knocked out their electricity and she will have to hire a generator. She has been told reconnection could take up to six to eight weeks and she will have to pay for it.
She said: "For this week we are OK, but next week, if we cannot run the spray booth and get the mannequins looking nice before they go out again that is going to be a problem. My staff are improvising and they have re-boxed the orders to get rid of the smell of smoke."