A FARM shop owner says firefighters believe the sun caused a major blaze that destroyed his business, by setting some wooden shelving alight.

Brett Wilkinson, owner of The Farm Shop at Ombersley, has said the fire is thought to have been started by the sun shining through a skylight.

He said: “The fire service have said it was an accident. They think the sun shining through a skylight in one of the buildings started the fire. It was near to the greenhouses so there was lots of glass. I think that was why I heard an explosion when I first discovered the fire.

“I can’t believe it, I didn’t know things like this could even happen. Apparently it is quite common but I have never heard of such a thing.”

Mr Wilkinson was left devastated after the shop was ravaged by the major fire that raged for 10 hours. Eight fire crews were sent out to tackle the fire at the shop on Holt Fleet Road on Saturday May 23.

At the time Mr Wilkinson said: “ It is heartbreaking. I have lost my home as I lived in the building next door. All I ever do is work, the shop is my life and now it is gone. It feels like the end.

“I have had it for 16 years, and I was so close to getting it exactly how I wanted it, people were loving it. My last project to perfect the place was going to be a large garden area around the ponds where children can play and families can gather. I can’t do that anymore. I was so close to making it. I was about to semi-retire.”

But now Mr Wilkinson is inviting customers back once more, just a month after the blaze.

He added: “Myself and my staff have been working day and night to get everything right again, we are open to customers again now, selling plants and are hoping to have the food shop back up and running very very soon. It has been great to have so much support from the community.”

A spokesman for Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service said: “From the fire service investigation, the most likely cause is determined to be ‘accidental – natural process.’