Spalding garage fire claimed a retired engineer’s lifetime collection of tools

A lifetime's collection of tools was destroyed in the fire. SG050816-110TW
A lifetime's collection of tools was destroyed in the fire. SG050816-110TW
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A retired engineer saw his lifetime’s collection of tools and equipment destroyed as flames roared through his garage.

Ten or 15 minutes before the fire was spotted, Peter Sheldrick (66), of Hannam Boulevard, Spalding, had put a lithium polymer battery for a radio controlled model aeroplane on charge.

I don’t even have a hammer and nails

Peter Sheldrick

Peter blames a battery or charger fault for sparking the fire that destroyed kit including a Honda generator.

He said: “It’s the same sort of battery you have with a mobile phone.”

Peter, who worked at Levertons for 40 years, believes he’s insured and says the cost of replacing everything lost with brand new items would be “at least six or seven thousand quid”.

He was indoors when neighbour Martin Lindout raised the alarm.

Peter said: “He must have been in the kitchen or had the back door open.”

Flames were fuelled by paint, turps and thinners stored in the garage. Heat was so intense it melted aluminium ladders, cracked a window at Martin’s house, warped a UPVC window at Peter’s house and damaged guttering at another neighbour’s property.

The fire gutted the garage, and threatened to destroy a wooden shed next to it, but Peter used a garden hose to protect his shed until firefighters arrived.

“It seemed a lifetime before they got here, but I think it was ten or 15 minutes,” he said.

Firefighters stopped the inferno from spreading to Peter’s and neighbouring homes just a few feet away.

One side of Peter’s shed was badly damaged but, on Friday morning, he couldn’t begin repairs because there were no tools left.

He said: “I don’t even have a hammer and nails.”

Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue sent crews from Spalding, Bourne and Donington to tackle the fire just after 8pm on Thursday.

Nearby residents were told to keep doors and windows closed to avoid breathing smoke.

On Friday Peter was waiting for council workmen to clear asbestos from the site.

Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue said the fire was caused by a faulty battery charger.