Carpet business owner defies fire attack to re-open in Welshpool

Reporter:

Jonny Drury

The owner of a carpet business set alight by an arsonist has expressed his relief that no-one was hurt in the blaze and vowed he would be open for business as usual this week.

A 48-year-old man has been arrested after Canalside Carpets in Welshpool was set alight late on Thursday evening.

The blaze took hold, destroying almost all the stock inside the building and damaging vehicles outside.

Owner Martin Gough admitted he was devastated the day after the blaze, but was thankful no-one was hurt.

He said: “It makes you think why do you work so hard –  we’ve built the business up and someone goes and does this.

“It is devastating, most of the carpets in the building have been destroyed, along with the sample books.

“Vehicles outside, including a forklift, have been damaged also, but I am just so thankful it happened when it did, at 11.40pm.

“No-one was in the building and the main thing is no-one was injured.”

On Friday afternoon, after an investigation was launched, a spokesperson for Dyfed-Powys Police confirmed a 48-year-old local man had been arrested on suspicion of arson and was in police custody.

Martin, who said he felt angry after the incident, got back to work straight away and has now set about re-building his business.

“We had lads out straight away the next day, some were in Kidderminster, we just had to continue as we had a lot of customers,” he added.

“It has come at a stressful time when we are moving the business.

“The fire crews have been reviewing the damage now, to see what can be done.

“We’re just ploughing on really and keeping going.

“A lot of the stock has gone but we will go about re-building things now.”

It is the second arson attack in recent months, with garages attacked on Salop Road over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

Damage from that fire is still visible, with damage caused to neighbouring houses.

The investigation into that incident is still on going.

Police confirmed on Wednesday a man had been released on police bail, and the investigation was on going. 

See full story in the County Times

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