Published: 00:01, 26 June 2016
Costs for firms will run into millions of pounds after a suspected arson attack at an industrial estate.
The blaze started at ecoegg on the Integra Business Park at Park Wood last week, but neighbouring unit Green Gate Access Systems also suffered severe smoke and water damage.
Rob Knight, who watched in horror from America as his award-winning eco company went up in flames, said the cost would be around the £2m mark in terms of lost revenue and stock.
“All of our staff have been fantastic,” he said. “The units are destroyed, so we’ve lost all our stock and offices and equipment and all that stuff. We’ve moved to temporary offices in Maidstone for the time being.”
Mr Knight, who was on a business trip in Florida at the time, said the company will have to find new premises due to the length of time it will take to rebuild the unit.
Neil Sampson, Green Gate’s managing director, described the damage to its building as “almost complete”, with just under £100,000 of stock destroyed.
The unit was also used to store goods for Totcycle, a second-hand baby goods service run by Park Wood-based charity the Princess Project.
Bulky items such as cots were destroyed by a combination of smoke and water.
Mr Sampson estimates the total cost to his firm, which makes security barriers, is about £250,000.
“We’re having to move out immediately,” he said. “What is left is going to have to be torn down.”
Green Gate’s office staff, who worked from home in the aftermath of the fire, moved into a portable building while the firm is using another unit on the business park, in Bircholt Road, off Sutton Road, for storage.
The company, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month, plans to stay at the estate and when its unit is rebuilt it will be combined with another to give Green Gate more space.
He also praised staff, some of whom worked over the weekend, for how they have coped with the chaos.
The fire broke out in the early hours of Tuesday, June 14. Police are treating it as suspicious and inquiries are ongoing.