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Servo owner unsure if he’ll rebuild

The remains of the Batlow Service Station the day after the Dunns Road fire swept into Batlow.

THE owner of the business of the Batlow Service Station, destroyed by fire on January 4 says he would like to re-establish the business at the same spot.

“I would like to try to establish another service station business at Batlow at the same spot in about six months,” Bipin Patel said.

Mr Patel is currently living in Griffith. He and his staff evacuated Batlow three days before the unprecedented bushfire hit Batlow on January 4 and destroyed 20 houses and many more outbuildings and property.

It is understood that the house next to the Service Station basically exploded, shattering windows across the road, and from this fire came that which burnt out the service station.

The business is insured, but this will only cover so much, and Mr Patel estimates he will lose half a million dollars. It will depend on what insurance payment he can get whether he can re-establish the business.

Mr Patel was informed by friends in Batlow that the station had been lost to the fire.

“I had put all my savings into it, and I only owned the business for two years, so I didn’t get anything from it,” he said.

“I hope the insurance and the council can help,” he said.

Mr Patel and his family enjoyed living in Batlow, and his children went to local schools.

They would like to return.

“The people of Batlow are lovely and helpful; they are all good,” Mr Patel said.