A BUSINESSMAN hit by double tragedy when his business went up in flames hours after returning from his brother's funeral has seen his firm rise from the ashes.
John Allen, 66, had run Allen's Coach-painters, based on Lower Barnes Street, Clayton-le-Moors, for 35 years until it was gutted in a blaze in November.
Mr Allen had returned from the funeral of his brother David, who died following a year-long battle with lung cancer when he received the telephone call telling him the building was on fire.
But now Mr Allen, of Spring Hall, Clayton-le-Moors, has re-opened the firm at Deveron Mill, off Meadow Street, Great Harwood.
He has invested £20,000 - money he had saved for his retirement - into it while waiting for an insurance pay-out to come through.
He said: "The last few months have been very upsetting and it has not been good at all.
"We have had to start up again to re-build the business and I feel I am a bit long in the tooth to go through that.
"But I decided I wanted to retire when I wanted to go and not because I had been forced out by a fire. The effect of the blaze was devastating.
"No-one can understand it unless they have been through it themselves.
"The business wasn't just about money, it was also a big part of my social life as I have been working now for 51 years and that is a long time."
A spokesman for Accrington Police confirmed that the blaze was still being investigated.