Champagne cheers as Leamington clinic rises from ashes

Champagne and liquid chocolate was flowing a-plenty at a Leamington business on Saturday as it celebrated re-opening after being destroyed in a fire.

Park Street Chiropractic Clinic was completely burnt out when the spontaneous combustion of massage towels started the fire on the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee bank holiday in June last year.

Despite the practice and everything inside being destroyed that afternoon, husband-and-wife owners Simon and Anna Garstin did not lose a day of business as they were able to re-locate to temporary premises, but in February they moved back to their original location - into a brand new clinic.

Mrs Garstin said: “The fire occurred around lunch time and we were preparing a barbecue for friends.

“Our neighbour works at the Subway branch in Warwick Steet. He called us to tell us he could see a fire in Park Street, but could not see much of what was happening.

“So Simon went over and I remember him calling me to say, ‘I cannot believe it but I am watching our business go up in flames’.”

Mrs Garstin said she and her husband, who had opened their clinic in 2005, later found out that some massage towels which had been washed, tumbled dried and stored away, had caught fire because the oil in them had overheated.

She said: “I did not know that could happen. Now we make sure that nothing is stored in a place where it can overheat.

“The whole clinic was ruined - we lost everything. The fire burnt out all three levels of the building.

“It was really lucky that no one was there at the time and the shop unit below us was empty at the time. It could have been a lot worse.”

Some friends of the couple who owned a clinic in Kenilworth who were on their honeymoon lent the use of their premises to the Park Street team for a short period, before they found another empty unit in Regent Street that they have been using until moving back last month.

Mrs Garstin said: “Claiming our insurance was a bit of a nightmare, but once the claim was accepted, it was fine.

“We had spent a lot of money on renovating the premises just a few months before that, so that money was wasted, but we can now see the silver lining because we have a brand new venue.

“It has been a bit of a rollercoaster. We were having to share offices, which was not very nice for us or the patients, so it’s good to be here again.

“It feels like we have achieved a victory. We’re just a a small family business and we’re really grateful to our staff and patients for supporting us.”