Car dealers say £1million showroom fire will not stop trade

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A MASSIVE £1million fire is not stopping these businessmen.

Shaun McGill and David Hutchinson even lost their own suit jackets during the blaze at the Halshaw Renault showroom at Gilesgate Moor, Durham City, earlier this month.

Dealer principal Shaun, 40, sales leader David, 53, and their staff are trading temporarily from the Quicks garage at Stoneygate, Houghton, before moving back to Durham in the next few weeks.

“We are going to the former Land Rover service station on the Belmont Industrial Estate,” said Shaun. “We hope our showroom at Gilesgate will be re-open within a year.

“The cause of the fire is still being looked into, but it looks almost certain it was electrical, possibly a current surge.”

David, from Hetton, missed the chance to rescue his jacket.

“I got there before 7am that morning,” he said. “The firemen were already in and wanted me to open the showroom doors so they could get in and out more easily.

“It was just some smoke in the roofspace then and I thought we’d all be back in when they’d dealt with it.

“Had I known what was going to happen, I would have rescued the jacket, which was £500 and had only been worn a few times.

“The other thing I lost which can’t be replaced, is a file with all my certificates and memorabilia from my time in car sales.”

Shaun, who lost four jackets in the fire, sold the first car from the dealership in 2001.

“I am looking forward to selling the first one when we get back there in about a year,” he said.

“In the meantime, I cannot praise the staff highly enough. Everyone has really pitched in.

“The customers have also been very understanding.

“We managed to sell 10 cars in the first week at Stoneygate, which was a good effort considering we didn’t have a showroom.”

Twitter: @sunderlandecho