Blaze destroys 18 motorbikes at garage

A PENSIONER has told today how she was woken by what she thought was fireworks - but then realised it was her business going up in flames, destroying 18 motorbikes.

A PENSIONER has told today how she was woken by what she thought was fireworks - but then realised it was her business going up in flames, destroying 18 motorbikes.

Dorothy Easton and her husband Clifford were woken at around 2am today to discover flames engulfing the portable cabin which is home to Washbrook Motorcycles and perilously close to the petrol tanks of Washbrook service station.

By the time fire crews had doused the flames shortly before 3am, all of the bikes inside had been destroyed. The fire is currently being treated as suspicious although the cause is not yet known.

In total, it is estimated the fire caused up to £50,000 worth of damage, with two older British bikes among those lost.


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Mrs Easton said: “I thought I heard some fireworks - a couple of bangs went off, but I didn't take much notice because they've been going off all weekend. I just thought 'not again'.

“The next thing I knew, the fire brigade were here and the cabin was well alight.

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“All the bikes have been destroyed. This is awful for my husband, me and my son.”

The couple, who also own the adjacent service station, live just yards away from the fire.

Their son Paul Easton has been running the motorcycle side of the business for several years.

Today, he spoke of his sadness and revealed the business has been targeted on a number of occasions in recent weeks.

He said: “We have had trouble for the last six or seven weeks.

“Windows have been broken several times - I think this is the seventh thing to happen.”

Investigations were due to start today to distinguish if arson was the cause of the blaze.

Mr Easton, who is involved in the Copdock Bike Show which raises thousands of pounds for good causes, said early indications suggested the fire was started from outside the cabin.

He added: “We don't know the cause yet, but it looks like it could be arson. Where it started, there is no gas or electrics either.

“I feel better now than I did when it was happening. I lost the plot a bit at the time.

“The worrying thing for me is that my parents live on the premises. There are petrol tanks nearby.

“I feel pig sick about this. It's not been a brilliant year, but we thought we could start afresh.

“I feel like packing it all in now.”

Two crews from Princes Street and one from headquarters attended the blaze. It took around 45 minutes to extinguish.

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