Published: 13:27, 15 September 2020
| Updated: 15:10, 15 September 2020
Businesses at Hoo Marina Industrial Estate have been left without power almost two weeks after fire destroyed a building.
Around 200 people were forced to flee their homes in Hoo Marina Park at around 4am on Friday September 4, when a fire broke out on the neighbouring industrial estate, in a building occupied by animal health and nutrition company Nettex.
Residents reported hearing explosions and seeing gas bottles shooting into the air as the fire took hold, and some had to stay in temporary accommodation over the following weekend.
But while residents on the Marina Park have all since returned to their homes, some business owners on the estate have been unable to operate.
Brian Fegan, who owns custom bike company Ritual Motorcycles, said he was still thankful that he had a business left at all.
"We're back in it now, but we've still not got power," he said today. "We haven't been able to work for a week and a half.
"This morning we got a generator up and running, which is giving me light."
Mr Fegan said electricity suppliers were installing a new mains cable, and the landlord had been helpful in providing a generator.
But he said his business and at least five others had been unable to operate since the fire.
"We've been doing bits to get ourselves up and running, but we've not been able to function, it's as simple as that.
"We've lost two weeks' works. Most of us have lost two weeks' income, but we could have lost our workshop.
And he added: "We haven't heard anything from Nettex."
Kent Fire and Rescue Service were on the scene for two days after the blaze was brought under control.
An investigation has since concluded that the fire is believed to have started accidentally, and the probable cause was due to electrical fault within a fridge.
UK Power Networks said engineers were called to Vicarage Lane, Hoo, at 9.56am on the morning of the fire, following a power interruption which affected 13 properties.
Engineers isolated supplies to a further 40 customers and all supplies were restored in stages the same day between 6.26pm and 8.45pm.
The company said engineers were at the site today replacing a wooden electricity pole and power line that was damaged by the fire, but that power supplies have been maintained.
The work has been completed but Ritual Motorcycles say damage caused to their property means further work will be required to reconnect their building to the mains supply.
Nettex have been approached for further comment.