Businesses were doing their best to get up and running again ten years ago this week following an arson attack.

Traders who saw their livelihoods reduced to ashes after an arsonist started a fire at a business park are beginning to get back on their feet.

Fire crews from across the county fought the blaze at the Chime Centre in Nazeing for more than 12 hours, but five businesses were still destroyed.

Tony Webb, 45, who believed the fire started at his business, TR Pallets, leaving him with nothing but ash, nails and burned-out lorries, is starting to trade again from his competitors’ premises, using a hired truck.

“The yard might be gone, but the business database and the customers are still there,” he said. “I’m getting a lot of help from my competitors with pallet yards.

“We’re like a close-knit family. Life goes on.”

He said he was waiting for the police to examine CCTV footage from cameras near shops at the bottom of the road leading to the business park and had an appointment to speak to an officer.

He also plans to put up a reward for information leading to an arrest for the arson.

Chris Harwood, 44, who runs joinery company C&P Property from the estate, is building a summerhouse in a nearby glass house using tools brought in by a retired former employee.

“At least we’re doing a little bit of work,” he said. “It’s a large summer house, so we’re assembling it.

“At the end of this, it will just be a clear-up operation. Our insurance company still won’t let us touch much because they’re dealing with the loss adjustor.”

He met Nazeing MP Robert Halfon when he visited the site on Tuesday.

“It’s nice to see someone with a little bit of power come up and give us some support,” he said. “He said to let him know if there was anything he could do to help.”

The fire is the most serious of three to affect Nazeing since the start of the year.

A farm building caught fire in Sedge Lane, Lower Nazeing, on Friday, March 23 and the cause of a blaze on wasteland in Sedge Green on Sunday is under investigation.