Damage caused by the fire was extensive

Damage caused by the fire was extensive

Two years ago things looked bleak for Powerdrive DFIS Ltd.

Its future was far from certain following a fire that had almost destroyed the business. Today however, the garage is going from strength to strength.

Owners Ian Crowley and Stuart Mohamed say that even though the Portsmouth based business was established some 22 years ago, the fire couldn’t have come at a worse time. The duo were in the process of buying the garage from the founder of the business, Glynn Ralls: “The contract was agreed, and all that remained was for Glynn to shake the hands of the staff and say his goodbyes,” they explained.

“The phone call came late on a Thursday night. A car in for repair started the fire, and it didn’t take long for the whole building to go up.”

“At the time it looked as if half of Hampshire’s fire service were on site fighting the flames,” said Stuart. “They later told me that if they’d arrived ten minutes later it’s doubtful there would have been anything left worth saving.”

The pair say that with so much of the business gone, they weren’t sure whether anything could be salvaged. Fortunately an army of friends and family was on hand to help get Powerdrive back on track: “We couldn’t have done it without their help – we were able to partially reopen on the Monday following the fire, and within six weeks we were fully operational.”

The business joined the Bosch Car Service network five years ago. Concept Manager Howard Price says the fact that Powerdrive is doing so well is a testament to its staff and customers: “It’s not that easy for garages at the moment and this is great example of hard work overcoming a disastrous event.”

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CAT magazine's in-house reporter and self-confessed petrol head

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