Greenwich motorcycle business races to recover after Blackwall Tunnel-closing fire wrecks building (From News Shopper)
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Greenwich motorcycle business races to recover after Blackwall Tunnel-closing fire wrecks building
The owners of a motorcycle repair business face a race against time to get their premises rebuilt after it was gutted in a blaze which caused travel chaos across the area.
One employee turned up at the unit after an intruder alarm went off, opening up the doors to see flames and then calling the Fire Brigade.
But although fire crews were quick to arrive at the peninsula but they could not save the building, or prevent smoke billowing out from the blaze, causing the tunnel to close for three hours.
Manager Nick Bartlett turned up at 8am that morning. He said: "It was a bit of a shock.
"Really I thought there'd be a fairly minor, localised fire. But when I came across from the north side of the tunnel you could smell it in the air.
"I think by the time they gained access to the building one of the floors had collapsed so had quite a bit of trouble controlling the fire."
The business has been in Greenwich since 1981 and now is one of the only businesses in the UK to specialises in manufacturing brake forks along with discs and shock absorbers.
Mr Bartlett said: "Our intention is that we'll rebuild but my belief is that the building is going to get knocked down.
"What we're struggling with a little bit is the insurance company are very slow to do anything.
"We really want to get moving. We want to get money and employ people - we don't want to go on the dole."
He said nobody from Greenwich Council had been round to see how they were, but he was hoping for some support in getting a speedy demolition and rebuild before they lose their customer base.
Mr Bartlett said: "If we haven't got any clientele, we're going back 20 years aren't we.
"I was born here. We want to progress, we want to rebuild it, we want to put the money into the borough. We're not going to go anywhere else.
"Manufacturing is the way forward for this country and we're just a small part of it and we want to help with that."
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
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