Joinery businesses loses around £200,000 after workshop set alight by Wellingborough recycling depot blaze

A fire-fighters hose-reel jet is seen powering water into Mr Seamark's workshop in Wellingborough after the fire on July 5.
A fire-fighters hose-reel jet is seen powering water into Mr Seamark's workshop in Wellingborough after the fire on July 5.

A small business owner whose firm has operated in Wellingborough for more than 30 years has been left devastated by the fire at the Cawleys recycling centre.

A major fire broke out at Cawleys waste transfer and recycling depot in Nielson Road, Wellingborough, on the Finedon Road industrial estate just before 2.30pm on Friday, July 5.

The damage caused by the fire at Tom Seamark's workshop in Nielson Road.

The damage caused by the fire at Tom Seamark's workshop in Nielson Road.

No-one was injured and the fire was eventually brought under control.

However, what has gone unreported until now is the crushing impact the fire had on nearby business Tom Seamark Quality Joinery, of 36 Nielson Road.

Mr Seamark had a workshop adjacent to the centre which was engulfed in flames, leading to the loss of thousands of pounds in stock, machinery, tools, paperwork and computer equipment.

He estimates that around £200,000 of damage was caused by the blaze, which sparked in his workshop via the roof.

Ash and debris left in the fire's wake at Tom Seamark's joinery workshop in Wellingborough.

Ash and debris left in the fire's wake at Tom Seamark's joinery workshop in Wellingborough.

The business has been running in Wellingborugh since 1986 and Mr Seamark had owned the workshop in Nielson Road for the past 12 years.

Mr Seamark, of North Street, Wellingborough, said: "My workshop is next to their yard and unfortunately my workshop and all its contents were completely destroyed.

"I was born in Wellingborough and have been self-employed with my own joinery business for the past 33 years. I have employees who are now unable to work."

He is worried about the loss of future business due to the depletion of stock. He had only recently received a large delivery of lumber worth thousands of pounds.

Joiner Tom Seamark in his workshop in Neilson Road before the fire.

Joiner Tom Seamark in his workshop in Neilson Road before the fire.

Although some of the damage will be covered by insurance, the length of time that bureaucracy will take to complete and the loss of stock has left Mr Seamark in a troubling position.

The 57-year-old added: "Due to the loss of stock, things will grind to a halt. Although I'll be insured for the building and some of the machinery, it's the loss of future business which is causing the most concern."

Long-time staff member Keith Brindle, also of Wellingborough, was in the workshop when the blaze started next door. He was told to evacuate the building immediately by fire-fighters and was locking up the workshop's roll-top shutter doors when he heard explosions from gas canisters going off at the recycling depot.

Fire-fighters urged him to leave the site immediately and he had to leave his car there, which was parked nearby. Luckily, the car was not damaged, apart from a partly-warped number plate which illustrated the force of heat from the blaze.

What Mr Seamark's workshop looked like before this month's fire.

What Mr Seamark's workshop looked like before this month's fire.

Mr Seamark employs three people, including an apprentice, and they are understandably concerned about the future.

His company has worked on a number of church and historic building restoration commissions, as well as bespoke windows, doors, cabinets and other one-offs.

Offers of support have come in, with the temporary use of a workshop forthcoming, while customers have also contacted him to express their backing.

But for now, Mr Seamark has been left to count the cost of the damage to his livelihood.

"If this happened six or eight years' later, it would probably force me to consider retirement, but I can't afford to do that now. The business will continue and I'm hoping my customers will return when we are fully back up and running," Mr Seamark added.