Workshop fire threatens service station

FIRE has destroyed a panel beating firm at Kempsey and threatened to spread to a service station next door.

A local resident captured the moment that flames engulfed the workshop.

A massive NSW Fire and Rescue response was able to control the fire and stop it spreading to the service station just after 8am on Tuesday.

The employees of the Verge St panel shop were able to escape unharmed, however it appears the shop is a total loss, along with a number of vehicles that were onsite undergoing repair.

Mid North Coast Fire and Rescue Inspector Tony Lenthall praised the work of fire crews in knocking down the flames in half an hour after responding on scene. 

"When crews arrived the panel beating shop was totally involved in flames," Inspt Lenthall said.

"The fire was spreading to attached buildings and there was a risk of flames spreading to a nearby service station and a house located nearby. 

"Crews have done a great job in preventing that from happening - a great job by all on scene. 

He said five NSW Fire and Rescue appliances were tasked to the scene along with an aerial pumper from Coffs Harbour due to the initial reports from the scene, however that fire truck was later turned around after local crews quickly contained the fire's spread.

The cause of the fire is being investigated by police. 

It is understood workers at the business had been welding prior to the fire breaking out. 

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