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Wychwoods building firm back on track after DIY shop fire
A DIY shop in Milton-under-Wychwood was back in business on Monday despite a devastating fire last week.
At the height of the fire early last Tuesday, 35 firefighters were working to control the blaze in the DIY Centre at Alfred Groves & Sons, in Shipton Road The fire was spotted at about 5am and six fire crews, paramedics and police were sent to the village, with Shipton Road closed to traffic until 10am.
Alfred Groves & Sons managing director Russell Hawtin said that the DIY shop would reopen on a reduced scale from Monday.
He added: “We haven’t stopped trading, because we have continued to sell sands and building materials in a separate part of the yard.
“Our intention is to maintain a shop and rebuild and get back to where we were, but it’s very early days.”
The company, which can trace its roots back to 1660, also carries out building work across the Cotswolds.
Mr Hawtin said the cause of the fire and how structurally sound the shop building was had not yet been established. Asked how long it could be before the shop reopened, he said six months was optimistic.
He added: “I found out about the fire in the early hours of Tuesday.
“It was a shock to find part of the yard in flames. It’s just something you don’t expect.
“I’m glad no one was hurt or anybody was involved. That was a relief.”
Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service group manager Jason Crapper said investigators were looking into the cause of the fire but it was not believed to have been started deliberately.