A SOUTHAMPTON business has vowed to bounce back after a fireball ripped through its premises leaving a £120,000 repair bill.

The fire broke out at the rear of commercial laundry Weightwash in First Avenue in Millbrook.

It comes just two years after Weightwash suffered a fire at its former premises in Lulworth Business Centre in Totton, which gutted the factory.

Daily Echo:

Weightwash managing director David Killeen has vowed to bounce back from the latest setback.

He has already begun the process of hiring new vans to deliver laundry to hotels and other businesses across Hampshire.

In January 2012 up to 60 firefighters tackled a fire at the company’s then headquarters in Lulworth Business Centre, Calmore.

The cost of the blaze, which caused smoke damage to neighbouring firms, was £250,000.

This time, three vans including two Ducati vans and one Ford Transit van were completely destroyed and a camper van parked out at the rear of the business was also severely damaged.

The fire was spotted by a supervisor who saw plumes of smoke coming from the vans and quickly alerted the fire service.

Mr Killeen added: “We have no idea what caused it, there are no electrics, chemicals or source of ignition it is a mystery.”


“I am gutted but there is nothing you can do about it, you just have to get on with it. I am just glad that no-one was hurt in the fire.

“We feel that it could have been alot worse, because it did not get to the factory. It feels like bad luck follows us, but it also means we hope we won't have more bad luck.”

Daily Echo:

Mr Killeen praised the swift action of his staff and Hampshire Fire and Rescue, and added: “They kicked into action and dealt with everything very quickly. The firefighters were very good."

One driver who works for Weightwash said: “I was surprised by it. I was one of the one the lucky ones because the van I drive did not get touched by the fire because it was in the far corner.”

Firefighters from Redbridge Fire Station and St Mary’s found three vans and a camper van alight.

Daily Echo:

Weightwash laundry in Millbrook

It happened 6pm last night when about 12 of Weightwash's 27 staff were still at work at the time.

Ten Fire-fighters tackled the flames by using pumping appliances from St Mary's and Redbridge Fire Station, the blaze was under control within ten minutes.

The business still has two delivery vans on the road and is in the process of hiring another three.

The cause is still being investigated but is not being treated as suspicious.