Woman battles blaze to save family business

A 43-year-old woman from Thornley-with-Wheatley bravely battled to save her family business after a paint spray booth caught fire in her car body shop.

Tanya Heaton, the owner of Heatons Garage in Bamber Bridge, sprung into action after she spotted the developing fire in the extraction unit of a paint spray booth.

Crews from Bamber Bridge were called out to the blaze on Station Road at around 4 pm on March 27.

The fire was made even more dangerous than usual due to the presence of flammable paints, confirmed fire services.

Tanya said: “I was really frightened, my life passed in front of my eyes. We saw the fire and got out of the building, I’m not sure why we went back in but I just couldn’t watch my business go up in flames.

“Two of my neighbours, who work at next door at ASP Motors, Peter Sedgwick and John Powell, came to help me. I’ve just had a hip replacement and I couldn’t lift the extinguisher by myself.

“We managed to switch off the fan and gas and Peter managed to put most of the fire out with his extinguisher.

“The fire brigade said that it could have been ten times worse if we hadn’t got it under control.

“I’m so grateful for Peter and John’s help, without them I’d have lost the lot.

“My dad and uncle who set up the business are former firemen, and when I told them what happened, they said that you can tell that I’m a fireman’s daughter."

Neighbouring business owner Peter Sedgwick said: “A member of staff came in shouting for help. We went out and gave them a hand. We could see that the fire wasn’t too big so we got the extinguishers out.

“We work very closely with Heatons and any help we were able to give them was our absolute pleasure."

A spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue said: “Two fire engines and crews from Bamber Bridge attended. Firefighters equipped with breathing apparatus used a hose reel jet to extinguish the fire. There were no casualties.

“Whilst we are pleased it worked out well for this business owner, our advice still remains that anybody suspecting a fire in their premises should get out, stay out and call us out."

Heaton’s Garage was set up by Tanya’s father and uncle and has been in operation since 1973.

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