Cause of devastating St Leonards blaze ‘may never be known’

A business based in St Leonards said it may never know the cause of a devastating fire which ‘totally destroyed’ its factory.

The building, belonging to engineering firm Drallim Industries, was damaged after a fire broke out inside the 50m by 70m structure just after 9pm on Saturday.

Drallim Industries factory, Drury Lane, St Leonards, was destroyed by fire. Photo courtesy of Councillor Phil Scott

Drallim Industries factory, Drury Lane, St Leonards, was destroyed by fire. Photo courtesy of Councillor Phil Scott

Six fire crews battled the blaze in Drury Lane for more than 12 hours, fighting throughout the night and into the morning to control the flames.

David Mooney, managing director at the firm, said: “I was up most of the night. It’s a devastating blow. We are just shocked really.

“What we’ve been told is that the cause may never be known because of the scale of the damage.

“It got so hot in the building and the firefighters let it burn. We are not fire experts but the whole roof has collapsed.”

Drallim Industries factory, Drury Lane, St Leonards, was destroyed by fire. Photo courtesy of Councillor Phil Scott

Drallim Industries factory, Drury Lane, St Leonards, was destroyed by fire. Photo courtesy of Councillor Phil Scott

Due to the scale of the incident, homes were evacuated in the area and a 200m cordon was put around the site.

The building which, according to Mr Mooney has been totally destroyed, will need to be demolished once a final report has been produced.

Speaking on Thursday (February 14), Mr Mooney praised the response of the Hastings community following the devastating fire.

He said: “The good news in this whole story is that we have had offers of help from loads of people and been contacted by lots of suppliers.

Drallim Industries factory, Drury Lane, St Leonards, was destroyed by fire. Photo courtesy of Councillor Phil Scott

Drallim Industries factory, Drury Lane, St Leonards, was destroyed by fire. Photo courtesy of Councillor Phil Scott

“We have four other offices and we have received help from other companies.

“The building needs to be demolished but this incident has displayed Hastings’ community spirit.

“We now have the building back from the fire service and we are in the process of making sure it is properly secured. We are urging people to stay away from the building as it is not safe.”

Mr Mooney said he saw no reason for anything other than ‘a positive future’ for Drallim Industries despite the weekend’s events.

Drallim Industries factory, Drury Lane, St Leonards, was destroyed by fire. Photo courtesy of Councillor Phil Scott

Drallim Industries factory, Drury Lane, St Leonards, was destroyed by fire. Photo courtesy of Councillor Phil Scott

He added: “It’s difficult and the past few days have been very hard but from the company’s point of view we will carry on.

“We are all working hard on recovery.

“The sun is shining here and we are being positive while we get over the shock of it.

“It is of course very sad but we have just got to be glad that nobody was injured.”

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