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Update - Fire at launderette in Church Road, Lower Parkstone
A BLAZE at a dry cleaner's in Lower Parkstone began after hot washing spontaneously combusted, fire investigators have discovered.
Five crews tackled the inferno at Barker Dry Cleaning and Laundrette in Church Road on Saturday night.
Video from Jonathan Senior
But owner Matthew Barker has vowed that the shop will be better than ever following a refurbishment.
“It looks awful, but actually a lot of it is smoke damage,” he said.
“It looks worse than it is. The only thing that matters is that everyone is ok and no one was hurt. Our early indications show that we should be up and running as soon as possible.”
Firefighters from Poole, Westbourne and Redhill were called to the blaze, which started on the ground floor of the building, extinguishing it using breathing apparatus, two main lines and two hose reel jets.
A high-rise ladder was also used.
Mr Barker said: “Obviously, a number of the machines are damaged, but there doesn't seem to be huge damage to customers' garments.
“We are taking this as an opportunity to completely fit out the shop and get some new machines in there. We want to make the most of this disaster and find the silver lining.”
Jonathan Senior, who lives nearby, was walking home when he spotted the fire.
He said: “There was a small group of people outside who alerted me to it.
“It seemed to me that the fire had started on the bench down the middle of the shop. When I first arrived, it didn't seem like a big fire, but all of a sudden it flared up.”
Mr Senior said that the fire escalated quickly.
“In under a minute it flared up hugely,” he said.
“I left when the firemen arrived but the smoke was everywhere - you could smell it some distance away.”
A spokesperson for Dorset Fire and Rescue Service said: “The cause of the fire is spontaneous combustion of washing.”
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