£1m damage caused after fire rips through business


A fire has ripped through a Stone Cross business causing around £1million of damage.

Neighbours and security staff of the Marquis Motorhomes business, one the UK’s largest motorhome firms, alerted emergency crews to the blaze around 5am on December 18.

Twenty motorhomes were left charred wreckages and damage was caused to the site’s fencing and road by the fire, believed to have been caused by an electrical fault.

The motorhomes were unoccupied and there are no reports of any injuries.

Golden Cross Road was closed at the junction of Chalvington Road and Nash Street for an hour due to fears gas bottles in the motorhomes could explode.

Customers were left having to re-plan their Christmas holidays after their vehicles were left unfit to deliver, said Graham Davidson-Bowman, commercial director for the group.

Devastated staff at the firm are now clearing the damage and trying to ensure customers receive a vehicle from one of the business nine other sites in the UK.

Mr Davidson-Bowman said: “Unfortunately some of the vehicles destroyed were destined to go to people before Christmas. Almost like a Christmas present for people who were planning to go away in them.

“So its ruined some people’s Christmases, but all the people affected have been told, but they were very disappointed.

“We are hoping to get those people affected on the road before Christmas with a motorhome from one of our nine other sites, so where there is some bad there is always some good too.”

He added: “Everyone here is devastated, but we are pulling together and getting on with the job of the clear up. We are all grateful to the neighbours, security staff and emergency crews for responding so quickly and affectively.”

A Sussex Police spokesman said: “Police scenes of crime officers and a fire investigator have determined that the cause of the fire was an electrical fault. There are no suspicious circumstances surround this incident.”

East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service crews from Hailsham and Herstmonceux responded first. Once crews arrived at the scene, two additional fire engines from Uckfield were dispatched.

Firefighters used two hose reel jets, a compressed air foam system, one main jet and a hydrant to tackle the fire, which was brought under control by 7.03am.