Arson attack destroys Rye car wash business

The damage caused by the fire at Rye Hand Car Wash SUS-180207-144628001
The damage caused by the fire at Rye Hand Car Wash SUS-180207-144628001

Two men have been left counting the cost after their car wash business was destroyed in an arson attack.

Sattar Ahmadi and Ali Hamidi own Rye Hand Car Wash, based in the car park at the River Haven Hotel.

But they discovered on Sunday (July 1) that arsonists had destroyed about £15,000 worth of equipment and possessions which were stored in a wooden outbuilding.

Firefighters from Broad Oak and The Ridge attended the fire at the car wash in Winchelsea Road just before 1.25am, using two breathing apparatus, one hose reel jet and a hydrant to put out the blaze.

Sattar said: “Around £15,000 worth of stuff has been lost. Five vacuum cleaners were destroyed, as well as TVs and other equipment, as well as a sofa. There’s nothing left.”

Since Sunday’s fire, the community has rallied round Sattar and Ali to help raise money to get their business up and running again.

Kitty Cooper has set up a Gofundme page online with the aim of raising £5,000.

More than £1,500 had been raised by Tuesday (July 3).

Kitty said: “I moved to Rye eight months ago and live opposite the car wash.

“Sattar and Ali have always been really helpful and kind and even helped my neighbour find her dog when it went missing.

“They are lovely people and are trying to make a new life for themselves here.

“The shed where they store their equipment and keep warm in the winter has been totally destroyed, as has a car they had just bought.

“They set up their business six years ago. They and their team work really hard seven days a week, rain or shine, snow or heat and always help everyone.”

A Sussex Police spokesman said: “Shortly after 2am on Sunday, July 1, police were called by the fire service to a fire at a wooden car wash building at the River Haven Hotel in Winchelsea Road, Rye.

“Both the building and a car parked next to it were damaged.

“The fire is being treated as deliberate, and anyone with information can contact Sussex Police online at or call 101, quoting serial 110 of 01/07.”

Anyone who wishes to donate towards Kitty’s cause can log onto the fundraising page at