Fire broke out at Dick Lovett’s Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) dealership at Melksham after staff spotted smoke coming from a brand new Defender 4x4 shortly after plugging it in to charge its battery.
The AM100 car retail group dealership’s 55 staff had to be evacuated as 20 firefighters from four stations rushed to the scene to tackle the ensuing blaze at around 12.40pm yesterday (March 22), This Is Wiltshire reported.
Investigations are now to ascertain the cause of the blaze at the facility on Commerce Way near Bowerhill, it said.
However, Peter Lovett, chairman of the Dick Lovett car retail group, told This Is Wiltshire reporters that the fire started as a result of issues with the charging of a 21-plate £50,000 Land Rover Defender.
Lovett, who was keen to thank firefighters for their efforts to extinguish the flames, protecting staff and “saving any lasting damage to the building” explained that staff were charging the vehicle ready for its display when problems were spotted.
He said they were “topping up the battery on a battery charger” when they "noticed smoke coming out of the car”.
Lovett said that staff had unplugged the vehicle within a minute, but added that the blaze had already taken hold, completely destroying the vehicle.
However, "nobody has been injured and the building is just smoke damaged,” he said.