Friends to the rescue of Southwick man

This Is Wiltshire: The burnt out remains of Dan Elliot’s garage. The burnt out remains of Dan Elliot’s garage.

A fundraising event is being planned to help a Southwick man who lost his business in a fierce fire on Sunday morning.

The blaze ripped through Dan Elliot’s garage workshop, in Hoopers Lane, with the roof collapsing, destroying the majority of his tools, as well as a Mini Cooper and Harley Davidson motorbike.

At around 8am, two explosions were heard from the premises.

Six fire appliances attended the blaze, which is believed to have started accidentally in a biofuel reprocessing unit.

Because of the presence of oxyacetylene and biofuel in the workshop, firefighters had to initially use tripods for their hoses, setting up a 100m cordon to deal with the fire, which was put out at around 1pm.

To help Mr Elliot get back on his feet, businesses in Southwick are coming together to organise a fundraiser at The Farmhouse Inn on October 14.

Landlord Adam Glass said: “He’s only been going alone for a couple of months, he does everyone’s vehicles and is a very likable lad, so we want to help in any way we can.

“He’s only just taken this big step and then it all goes pear-shaped for him.”

A car wash in the pub’s car park will take place between 9am and 5pm.

There will be a raffle with prizes including driving lessons with instructor Roger Brunt, house cleaning, a day’s labour from decorator Dan Allford and meals at The Farmhouse.

Barman Phil Cooke, a friend of Mr Elliot’s, said: “The response has been great and everybody who knows him can’t do enough for him because he is such a nice guy. Everyone is really keen to help him get back on his feet.

“I’m sure he will bounce back and it is great to see the community all putting something in to help him out.”

The fundraiser will draw to a close with a quiz at the pub, in Frome Road, which will start at 8pm. Anyone who would like to donate a raffle prize can call The Farmhouse on 01225 764366.

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