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Worker speaks of fireball terror

An HWP worker said he “screamed for his life” as he saw a huge fireball heading towards him in yesterday’s blaze.

The sales assistant, who did not want to be named, said he feared for his life and ran out the building as quickly as he could when the fire took hold just after 2pm.

The man said: “I was out the back having lunch when I heard something. I opened the door and there was this fireball coming through.

“It was this big orange ball just heading straight through the building. The fireball was big, real big, I’d never seen anything like it.

“I screamed, screamed real loud, screamed for my life.

“I didn’t wait to be told, I just thought I have to get out of here and ran as quickly as I could”.

The man was working in HWP’s spare parts sales centre opposite the car showroom at the time of the blaze. He said even though he was on the other side of the road, the fireball was so big, he could see it “taking hold of everything”.

He said the fire “couldn’t have come at a worse time” for the company as many of the staff had recently had their hours reduced.

He said: “What happens to our jobs now? They’ve reduced hours already and now this. It’s such a worrying time”.

The HWP fire alarm system sounded and all 115 staff managed to get out of the building in plenty of time. They stood outside on the roadside for about ten minutes, before police moved them away from the scene.

HWP bosses advised all employees to go home, but this worker said he didn’t want to leave the scene. At about 4pm he was spotted walking around the Serpentine Road area waiting to see what had happened to his car.

Many staff tried to move their cars from the staff car park, adjacent to the main HWP building, but this worker didn’t have time to get to his.

He said: “I’m waiting around because I really want to get back in there to see my car. I’m glad everyone got out, but now I have to check on my car”.

HWP CEO Jonathan Brewin said last night that many workers would have had their cars severely damaged or destroyed as the fire spread to the staff car park.

Fire billows out from the roof of the HWP Body and Paint Centre during yesterday?s blaze. A member of staff has spoken of his terror after being confronted by a raging ball of fire.

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Published August 09, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated August 09, 2011 at 9:19 am)

Worker speaks of fireball terror

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