Southampton-based Barfoot and Sons was left devastated by a blaze which claimed three coaches and three minibuses – more than half its fleet.
The six vehicles were gutted, with another minibus partially damaged in the fire at an operating centre for trucks, buses and coaches. Firefighters were called to the blaze at 1745hrs on Saturday, December 5.
Emergency services said the blaze was caused by an electrical fault in one vehicle, believed to have been caused by rodents, and the fire had spread from one to the other closely parked vehicles. They stated there were no suspicious circumstances.
Steve Barfoot, Company Director of the small family coach and minibus hire firm, which owns 11 vehicles, said: “We’re gutted, it’s pretty devastating – it’s not a very good start to 2013.
“If it’s down to rodents, it is frustrating such a small animal caused so much damage and devastation.”
According to a report from the Southern Daily Echo, Mr Barfoot said he was yet to get hold of insurers, but the damage would run into the tens of thousands. It is not expected to have an immediate effect on the company’s services as it has not been busy and does not run school services.