Appeal after fire damages empty Shillington house

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An empty building in Shillington was severely damaged after fire broke out in the roof yesterday.

Bedfordshire Police are asking anyone who saw anything suspicious to come forward as they continue to investigate the blaze at Bury Road.

Beds Fire Control received a call about the fire at 3pm yesterday afternoon (18 April) and dispatched fire crews from Kempston and Luton to the scene. The severity of the fire meant two further fire engines from Luton and Stopsely were also sent to the incident supported by the aerial platform from Luton and a water carrier from Kempston.

When they arrived they found the fire in the empty, detached building had caught hold of the building and they fought to protect adjacent properties from being damaged by it. Wearing breathing apparatus to protect themselves from the smoke and fumes and using two jets, two covering jets and a fire hose they soon put out the fire in the roof, which destroyed all of it, and the aerial platform was used to extinguish and damp down the fire inside the building.

Station Commander Robbie Robinson said: “The building was within six feet of another property and the wind was pushing the fire in that direction so it was important we stop the fire spreading further. Firefighters used fire jets externally to knock back the fire and protect the neighbouring building which had been evacuated.

“Things were complicated as there was asbestos material on one side of the roof and due to this, the building construction and intensity of the fire no crews were committed inside in house and the fire was contained using jets externally. Two Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus then extinguished the fire from above using our Arial Platform.

“Crews are regularly carrying out re-inspections of the site to identify and dealing with small hot spots.”

The incident was over by 4.30pm and there were no casualties. The cause of the fire is under investigation. If anyone saw anything suspicious Wednesday afternoon before the fire started please call Bedfordshire police on 101. Alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.