Fire-hit garden centre may start Christmas tree sales next week

Ansell Garden Centre, near Heathrow, may rise from the ashes and sell Christmas trees from late November after the business burnt down on November 20.

Owner Paresh Raithatha said he was yet to find out the cause of the blaze but knew the area where it began as he had tried to fight it.

He added: "Support has been immense and [we] may start [selling] trees on Monday."

He said on Twitter: "Thanks for all your kind words and messages across social media. Just so surreal, know it's material but words can't explain the loss."

"Heart broken seeing 14 years of blood, sweat and guts go up in smoke. Thank you for all the messages. Thanks for touching base, thank god we are all okay and got out... thanks to the emergency services too."

The centre has been threatened by the Heathrow airport expansion plan.

Raithatha said on Facebook: "We have been touched by all the kind words and support that you all have offered, from our family, friends, customers, suppliers, residents and our staff both new and old who have become part of our family. Thank you.

"Thank you to the firefighters and the police continue to provide all their support and monitor the garden centre (or what's left of it) to ensure the safety of the local residents.

"You all have given us the courage to move forward. We will hopefully see your smiles in the very near future and will keep you updated as much as we can so please keep in tune with our Facebook page.

"With some hope, we stay strong, we fight, we move forward."


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