Burger van owner 'blown away' by support after devastating fire
- Credit: Mark Dyer
The owner of Ipswich burger van is set on giving back to the local community which helped him rebuild his business after a devastating fire.
Mark Dyer, 48, said he was shocked by the amount of support he received from people in Chantry after his food van was destroyed by a blaze which started in the vehicle's fuse box last year.
He said: “It took eight minutes for my van to burn down.
“The fire brigade were called straight away, but I had to go back in the van while the fire was on and get the gas cylinders out.
“The van was parked right on my driveway when it caught fire and could have put my family in danger.
“It was absolutely mad. It was the most terrifying thing in my life.”
In order to get his business back on its feet, the Chantry community set out to raise him £200.
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“I would be blown away by that money alone," he said.
“Somebody opened a fundraising page for me and the Chantry community raised nearly £1,000 to get me back on my feet, which was amazing.
“I bought a new van, got it up and running within a month, and went out, so I could give something back to the community.
“I am so grateful for the help I received because I don't know if I'd still be going if I didn't have the help and support from the Chantry community.”
Since reopening his van business, Mr Dyer has also opened a café at Chantry Library.
He said: “The prices in my place are very reasonable. As the community supported me, I also want to support them.
“When I see people that are struggling, I give them food for free.”
Mr Dyer is now spending more time running the café but still visits local events in his van – serving hot dogs, burgers and chicken wraps.
The café, Dyer’s Diner, at Chantry Library serves coffee, homemade scones and cakes, as well as fry-ups and milkshakes.