Residents have been left counting the cost after a major blaze on a New Whittington street.
A huge fire and explosion tore through a ceramics business on Stone Lane at 11.45am on Tuesday – sending a huge plume of black smoke circling into the sky.
The terrifying blaze – which forced the evacuation of dozens of homes – spread to a nearby domestic garage and a car storage unit, destroying two separate owners’ vehicles.
Devastated Jean Hudson lost three classic cars in the fire.
Her Mercedes, BMW and Mazda were all left burnt out wreckages.
She was too upset to speak to the Derbyshire Times but her daughter Karen said the vehicles were worth thousands of pounds.
Barry Wright’s stock car – which was in the repair workshop – also succumbed to the flames.
He said: “I’m absolutely devastated – I was due to be racing it this weekend.”
Stephen Smith, owner of the Stone Lane Jaxste Collectables shop, described the blaze as a “raging inferno”.
He said: “It was quite horrific. You just don’t expect this type of thing to happen near your workplace.”
Resident Mark Roberts added: “It was a scary day – I heard a really loud bang then went outside and saw a huge plume of black smoke circling the area.”
Firefighters from Bolsover, Clay Cross, Dronfield, Lowedges and Mansfield Road spent several hours tackling the fire.
Dozens of homes were evacuated and surrounding roads were closed for most of the day. Pupils from nearby New Whittington school were sent home early as a precaution. No-one was injured in the drama. A Derbyshire fire service spokesman said it is not yet clear what caused the blaze but an investigation is under way.