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Flames ripped through the yard of Jeffs Coaches in Helmdon in the early hours of Sunday January 13.

Eight coaches were destroyed in the blaze which began just after 2am when a vigilant villager spotted the flames.

Fifteen fire fighters with appliances from Brackley and Towcester attended the scene along with a water carrier from Daventry.

The eight coaches which were destroyed by the fire were two new Iveco coaches, three Volvos, one Leyland and two Bedford coaches.

The coach firm provides a bus service to schools in South Northants and this commitment was not disrupted by the fire with thanks to the help of other local coach firms.

Julie Bosley, Sales and Marketing Manager at the Helmdon yard, said: "In the early hours of Sunday morning about 2am, a woman in the village spotted a fire and phoned the fire brigade, she also rang here and phoned our duty manager Bill Grendall who got here ten minutes after the fire service and moved another six coaches.

As far we know the fire service and the police are not certain about what happened.

"The noise must have been phenomenal, there must have been in excess of fifty tyres exploding."

The company has had a lot of support from other coach companies in the area and have been able to continue their service.

Julie Bosley added: "We have been able to fulfil our commitments, we have a fleet of around eight coaches.

"The schools have not been affected at all. We are very lucky with the support we have had from local coach companies - we are overcoming it.

"It could have been a lot worse, we have had a lot of calls from customers, we can give a 100 per cent service."

What started the fire is still unknown, but the fire service have discovered which coach was the first in flames and are investigating the cause.

Brackley Post - 18th Jan 2002
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