Oil drums cause explosion at Northamptonshire car garage

An explosion at a car garage near Kingsthorpe was caused by oil containers catching fire and blowing up, an investigation has found.

A blaze started outside the Auto Services garage on Ruskin Road at around 2.20pm on Wednesday (19 August), the Northampton Chronicle & Echo reported. Eyewitnesses have said that a small fire began outside the car repair centre before spreading to a nearby stack of tyres and then vehicles and oil drums, which subsequently exploded, causing severe damage to the business' forecourt and building.

Motor trade insurance policies are designed to protect car garages from the risk of fires, which are more common on these premises because of the flammable and explosive items stored on site. However, by having this business insurance in place the firm can ensure it has financial cover to replace or repair things that are damaged in a blaze, including the company's tools, stock, vehicles, customers' cars, equipment and the building itself.

Crew manager Martin Parsons said of the fire at Auto Services: “There was a large quantity of tyres and a couple of vehicles involved in the fire. Our first response was to tackle it in a defensive way, by making sure it could not spread.

“Once we had done that we made sure the surrounding properties weren’t at risk."

Two vans outside the premises were destroyed while the forecourt was left blackened and the building was also damaged. A neighbouring fence was also charred.