New beginnings for fire damaged petrol station

Open: Kru and Minty Pattni at the arson hit service station, which is set to re-open after an arson attack in January (above)

Open: Kru and Minty Pattni at the arson hit service station, which is set to re-open after an arson attack in January (above)

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A fire damaged petrol station is back in business after being targeted by arsonists.

The Old Oak Service Station, in Hoghton Road, was set alight on January 19 when someone climbed onto the roof and smashed through the tiles before pouring accelerant into the building.

Firefighters from Bamber Bridge managed to get the 
incident under control before it threatened fuel pumps on the forecourt but the village station was left severely damaged.

A small part of the shop has remained open since the fire but now brothers Minty and Kru Pattni are finally able to relaunch the station after eight months rebuilding the family business.

Minty, who took over the garage with his brother from his dad and uncles in 2010, said: “It was heartbreaking when we heard about the fire. We have been in this community for 40 years and everything was going really well up until that point - it was totally unexpected.

“Luckily one of our neighbours saw what had happened and alerted the fire brigade. It could have been a lot worse.”

The morning after the blaze Minty ensured that locals were still able to buy essentials by selling newspapers, bread and milk on the forecourt.

He said: “It was pitch black so I had to sell things by the headlights of my car until the fire and police service would let us back in.”

And it is the community that the garage serves that have really helped Minty and his family during the refit.

Minty said: “The support has been fantastic. Everyone was coming in to us asking if we needed any help with the clearing up. We have been running like a tuck shop from a cabin while the repairs have been going on and it has affected the community as much as it has affected us - they have been really fed up.”

Minty added: “It has been a terrible thing but it has really shown how everyone can come together during times of hardship.”

Nobody has been arrested in connection with the blaze and police say investigations are ongoing.