Garage boss refuses to be beaten by fire

PUBLISHED: 13:30 20 February 2009 | UPDATED: 10:31 10 June 2010

DAYS after fire ripped through R and R Motors, in Victoria Way, it was business as usual for the popular Exmouth garage. Owner Simon Redmore was, on Monday, refusing to be thwarted by the devastation caused by the fire, which left his garage a mass of twi

DAYS after fire ripped through R and R Motors, in Victoria Way, it was business as usual for the popular Exmouth garage.Owner Simon Redmore was, on Monday, refusing to be thwarted by the devastation caused by the fire, which left his garage a mass of twisted and charred metal.This week R and R Motors' band of mechanics were back beneath the car bonnets, working in the only remaining workshop which survived the fire.Although the garage is able to offer only a limited service, it is determined to carry on as normal with mechanical repairs and car body shop services.Mr Redmore said he thought it would be six months before the garage rebuild began. He said the other Victoria Way businesses were rallying round to help the stricken garage. Mr Redmore said he realised the fire was out of control after four fire extinguishers trained on the blaze failed to douse the flames."They wouldn't touch it so we called the fire brigade," he said. "When it took hold, we could see there was nothing we could do. I just felt sick and helpless."We are still in shock - it is not the sort of thing that happens everyday. Nobody was hurt and that's all that matters."We will just fight on and see what happens. I didn't believe in Friday the 13th before - but I do now!"When acetylene canisters used by mechanics began to explode in the intense heat, the fire brigade was forced to set up a 200-metre exclusion zone around the premises, evacuating hundreds from their homes and businesses.People watched in shocked silence as explosions inside the garage sent flames high above the building, and plumes of thick acrid black smoke into the Exmouth sky. The blaze raged for several hours before the fire crews were able to bring it under control.Firefighters kept watch all night, training water on any remaining acetylene canisters to prevent explosions.Residents from homes backing onto the garage, in Victoria Road, were put up in temporary overnight accommodation as a safety measure.They were allowed back home once the final acetylene cylinder was removed on Saturday morning.

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