Business's future in doubt after fire destroys vintage tractorsBy Laura Herbert
April 25, 2012
The owner of a collection of vintage tractors worth around £250,000 wrecked in a barn fire on Monday may be forced to close his business.
Timothy Staines believes the blaze which destroyed 14 tractors may shut down T S Renovations Ltd in Finchampstead.
He said: “I just can’t replace them. I have been here for 35 years collecting them.”
Mr Staines described the scene as like something from a 'James Bond movie' after a fuel can or gas cylinder is thought to have exploded during the blaze, causing the roof of the barn to be thrown across the yard and one tractor to shoot out of the barn.
The blaze also damaged one tractor worth £70,000 and one from 1952 which Mr Staines has used to cut the grass at the nearby New Mill restaurant.
He said: “I think it will shut me down, I can’t see how I can operate my business.”
Tree surgeon and landscaper added: “The heat was so intense. I was asleep at the time and my neighbour phoned the fire brigade and then one of my neighbours phoned me.
“Within minutes I was here and the barn wasn’t yet on fire. I went to move the tractors out but something ignited, a fuel can I thought, which ignited the wooden barn and I couldn’t get near it.”
It took more than 40 firefighters from six stations two hours to contain the fire in Reading Road at around 1.15am
The fire is believed to have been accidental and started by an electrical fault off the site, according to early investigations.
Mr Staines added: “The fire brigade have been excellent, I can’t fault them.”