'Electric vehicles not to blame' for Preston Inchcape Jaguar Land Rover dealership fire

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The cause of a huge blaze which destroyed a luxury car dealership in Preston remains a ‘mystery’ – but electric vehicles are not to blame, say investigators.

It has been six months since the devastating fire tore through the Inchcape Jaguar Land Rover site in Bluebell Way, Fulwood in the early hours of Friday, April 7.

The blaze broke out in the top floor of the dealership and was fought by more than 60 firefighters and 10 engines, along with two aerial ladder platforms and specialist crews including the drone team.

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No one was injured but damage to the dealership was so severe that the building has had to be partially demolished and is currently being rebuilt.

More than 60 firefighters and 10 engines, along with two aerial ladder platforms, battled the blaze at the Inchcape Jaguar Land Rover dealership in Bluebell Way, Fulwood which broke out in the early hours of Friday, April 7, 2023More than 60 firefighters and 10 engines, along with two aerial ladder platforms, battled the blaze at the Inchcape Jaguar Land Rover dealership in Bluebell Way, Fulwood which broke out in the early hours of Friday, April 7, 2023
More than 60 firefighters and 10 engines, along with two aerial ladder platforms, battled the blaze at the Inchcape Jaguar Land Rover dealership in Bluebell Way, Fulwood which broke out in the early hours of Friday, April 7, 2023

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service conducted a lengthy and thorough investigation into the source of the blaze, but its investigators failed to determine a cause.

“The fire is believed to have been accidental, however we were unable to determine a cause due to the damage sustained and, as such, we are no longer investigating,” said a spokesperson for the fire service.

It has led to speculation on social media, with some people suspecting an electric vehicle sparked the blaze.

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But this has now been ruled out by Inchcape, who told the Post this week that “the likely cause was a non-vehicular electrical fault at the premises”.

Damage to the dealership was so severe that the building has had to be partially demolished and is currently being rebuiltDamage to the dealership was so severe that the building has had to be partially demolished and is currently being rebuilt
Damage to the dealership was so severe that the building has had to be partially demolished and is currently being rebuilt

‘Electric vehicles were not to blame’

A spokesperson for Inchcape said: “We worked in conjunction with various experts as part of a rigorous investigation to determine the cause of the fire.

"The outcome of the investigation ruled out the possibility of an electric vehicle being the cause, and concluded that the likely cause was a non-vehicular electrical fault at the premises.”

In the days following the fire, investigators with Lancashire’s fire service also said they did not believe electric vehicles were involved. It added that a “full fire investigation will confirm the likely ignition source in due course”.

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Many prestige vehicles were damaged at the dealership and the total cost is expected to run into seven figuresMany prestige vehicles were damaged at the dealership and the total cost is expected to run into seven figures
Many prestige vehicles were damaged at the dealership and the total cost is expected to run into seven figures

But no definitive explanation for the cause has been found and the blaze will most likely remain a mystery.

Many prestige vehicles were damaged at the dealership, which opened in 2018, and the total cost is expected to run into seven figures - but Inchcape declined to put an exact figure on the damage costs.

You can see 17 pictures of the fire-damaged showroom here, as demolition work took place earlier this month.