What's left of the 116-year-old Carvers.

Wood-burning stove caused Carvers builders' merchants fire

Published:  02 March, 2012

WOLVERHAMPTON: The fire that destroyed Carvers builders' merchants may have been caused by a wood-burning stove, said fire crews.

Up to 75 firefighters tackled the blaze that swept through Carvers' 8-acre site in Littles Lane, Wolverhampton, burning it to the ground on Wednesday.

Tony Ward, West Midlands Fire Service group manager, said it was "caused possibly by a wood-burning stove" but investigations were continuing. He said flammable materials such as paints and aerosol cans meant the fire "got hold within the first seconds".

He added that investigations were in the early stages and would continue. "It's a very large builders' merchants and within that structure there it contains lots of aerosols, paints, plastic, plumbing materials, wood.<

"Loads and loads of flammable, combustible material and as soon as the fire got hold it would have been a very rapid spread of fire throughout that structure."

Brave Carvers has vowed to "regroup and to rebuild" the landmark building in the centre of Wolverhampton.

Owner Henry Carver and his team of executives are now working around the clock to rebuild the company. It employs 150 people at the main warehouse in Little's Lane, Wolverhampton, who are now waiting to find out what their future holds.

Another 50 work at a timber yard in Neachells Lane, Willenhall, which has become the merchant's temporary headquarters.

"We're certainly going to give it our best try. After 116 years we're not about to give up. The company is well financed, we're not in debt. We've always paid our bills on time. We have to wait to see what happens with the loss adjusters."

Mr Carver added that 90% of stock had been destroyed, and 80% of trade had been lost.

"Today is really about negotiation with the insurers to sort out how we can do something to start again," he said.

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