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Last Updated: Monday, 5 June 2006, 12:35 GMT 13:35 UK
Arson attack on timber workshop
The owners of a joinery factory near Wrexham which was badly damaged in a suspected arson attack say they are determined not to be beaten.

Salvage operations are underway at the Pant Joinery's workshop in Ffrith.

General manager Gareth Johnson said they were looking for alternative premises so they can keep the 17 staff.

The fire which swept through the workshops is thought to have been started deliberately in a trailer loaded with sawdust nearby.

As the blaze spread on Saturday, fire crews were unable to prevent the factory roof collapsing.

Although we've lost our workshop, there's no question of us giving up
Gareth Johnson

But as police and fire experts continued investigations on Monday, workers managed to salvage some woodwork from the damaged workshop so the firm could deliver a consignment of window frames to a building site at nearby Rossett.

"This is a huge blow to everyone," said Mr Johnson.

"But although we've lost our workshop, there's no question of us giving up.

"We're a high-class joinery firm, specialising in restoration and conservation work and we'll be 50 years old next year, so there's no way we're going to let this setback beat us."

He said the company had contacted Wrexham and Flintshire councils and the Welsh Development Agency for help in finding a temporary workshop to carry on production of stairs, doors and windows.

Director of the firm, Terence Joseph, appealed for anyone with information about how the fire started to contact the police.

Phil Owen, station manager for Wrexham with North Wales Fire Service, said: "This type of fire, which is thought to be deliberate, ties up resources which could be used to save lives.

"In this instance, the building affected is also a local employer, and the aftermath of the fire could cause many local people to be out of work.

"Arsonists are really attacking their own communities, and putting others' lives at risk.

He appealed to anyone who knows anything about this incident to contact their local police station or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."


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