Stopsley Fire Station, Luton, received notification of the fire at 12.25am on Wednesday August 15 and dispatched four appliances and an aerial platform. By 2.40am the fire had been extinguished.

Station officer Dave Fothergill of Bedfordshire Fire Brigade said the building was completely devastated “by fire, smoke and explosive damage”. Investigators were at the site trying to establish the cause of the fire as LCN went to press, but it was not being treated as suspicious.

Dennis Curry, an engineer with Nicholas Harper Associates, was one of the first people at the scene. He said: “It’s a complete burn out. Everything has gone. There’s nothing left. All the walls have collapsed.”

The business is in an industrial area, but nearby buildings were not affected, apart from minor smoke damage. An attached building housing a paint spraying company was also unaffected.

Tip Top Linen Service’s owner, Mr Ali was unavailable for comment, but Dennis Curry said: “We are trying to find a local laundry who can help us out. The vans will be coming back soon and we’ve got to get something sorted out. We’re working at it now.”