Blaze destroys garage, cars and tools

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THIS was the scene of devastation after a fierce fire ripped through a garage at a house in Wigan.

The blaze, at Bridgewater Street in Hindley, destroyed two cars and a large quantity of tools and welding equipment stored in the garage, which was also reduced to blackened rubble by the flames.

Vincent Hesketh with the remains of his TVR car

Vincent Hesketh with the remains of his TVR car

The fire also smashed an adjoining downstairs window, causing extensive smoke damage throughout the upstairs of the property.

The blaze was particularly devastating for homeowner Vincent Hesketh, who is a keen car enthusiast and saw one of his classic motors and his tools for restoring and repairing old vehicles destroyed. Firefighters who tackled the blaze said it was fortunate no-one was hurt in the incident, which happened at around 3am on Thursday. The cause of the blaze is unknown.

Vincent, 58, said: “I heard a bang, which I now realise was one of the tyres exploding, and my wife got up to have a look then started shouting our daughter’s car was on fire.

“One of the neighbours started banging on the door so I went down to look and the whole garage was ablaze. We all managed to get out of the house and one of my neighbours took us in.

“It’s a real mess, and somehow it looks worse now than it did at the time. The TVR was a lovely old car, and it’s a shame when another one bites the dust. I was going to respray over it the summer.

“I used to do all sorts of tinkering and work on the cars, even jobs like welding, as a hobby. I don’t think I’ll get any more cars after this.”

Vincent, who has previously sold refurbished classic cars to enthusiasts as far afield as Japan, said he was hoping to be able to salvage some of the items from the damaged cars to sell or use to complete his remaining restoration projects.

Firefighters who battled to bring the flames under control urged Wiganers to ensure they had smoke alarms to warn them of fires, saying the incident could have been much worse.