Car blows up at Marcia St Wreckers

FIRST it was floods, now it’s fire which has forced a big clean-up for one Coffs Harbour business.

Marcia Street Wreckers and Autoshop was inundated twice last year when the big rains hit, but on Friday the family business came close to being burnt to the ground when a car blew up.

Owners Nick and Jocelyn Stubbs were yesterday awaiting the arrival of insurance assessors, but they reckoned the blaze caused at least $50,000 in damage.

“We’re very lucky considering what happened and for the amount of smoke that the whole place didn’t go up,” Nick said.

“The firefighters were awesome.”

The rear of the building is now a charred and smelly ruin and there’s not much left of the Holden Commodore station wagon which sparked the late afternoon blaze.

Nick and his staff of four were forced to flee for their lives when the car engine caught fire as they were trying to start it.

Thick, black smoke poured through the business and onto the street and fire crews donned breathing apparatus to battle and contain the flames.

Nick still didn’t know if the cause of the drama was the car battery blowing up, if fuel had leaked onto the ground or if there was a problem with the spark tester.

“We’ve been doing it up for resale and we only got it registered a month ago,” he said.

He’s certain the walls surrounding the car helped stop the flames spreading to the rest of the building, where his beloved $30,000 speedway car and other vehicles were parked.

Nick spent most of Saturday ventilating the workshop and getting the help of electricians and it was business as usual by yesterday morning.

The firm has been in his family for 17 years.

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