A WADEBRIDGE trader has been forced to look for new premises and resurrect his business after a fire gutted an industrial unit in the town.
Mike Polson managed to escape the blaze uninjured but the fire at the Trenant Industrial Estate a few weeks ago caused him to close down Wadebridge Framing which he took over 11 months ago.
Now Mr Polson is hoping to reopen at new premises near Wadebridge's town centre, which will also incorporate an art gallery, but has been left to count the cost of the damage to his stock.
Fire crews from Wadebridge, Padstow and Bodmin attended the blaze on February 12, when welding gear set alight materials. The fire destroyed a Land Rover Discovery and spread to a unit housing three businesses.
Mr Polson said: "I was working in the upstairs workshop when I became aware of a cloud of black smoke falling from the ceiling. I realised it was coming in from the next door unit.
"I hopelessly tried to cover and protect some of the artwork I was working with, but then ran from the building.
"As a result, my entire workshop is covered in a black greasy film of dust and smoke residue and it has forced me to close down and stop trading."
Mr Polson said he had spent the past 11 months building the business steadily, increasing the turnover and client base.
"Things seemed to be on an upward trajectory. The year had started well and we had just started to sell our retail line through our website, and we were determined to make a success of it, despite the recession."
He said he was determined to start again.
"I don't know, as yet, when I'll be trading again, but it looks as if I have now found new premises in Wadebridge.
"I do intend to try to somehow turn this round to a positive and come back with a different angle on the business.
"Maybe I'll take on a larger unit and include a gallery to exhibit some of the great local artists I've worked with since taking the business on, but at the moment I just don't know when I can reopen.
"In the meantime, I'd like to thank my customers for their patience and for putting up with the inconvenience which has been caused by the fire damage," he said.