Firefighters battle blaze at Stotfold vehicle repair workshop
- Credit: Archant
Fire crews were called to Stotfold on Friday night to tackle a blaze at a vehicle repair workshop.
Emergency services received the call to the single-storey building in Hitchin Road at about 10.15pm where they discovered that the property had asbestos in the roof, as well as gas cylinders inside.
Firefighters put out the blaze at 1am, before making sure people living in neighbouring houses had their doors and windows closed as a precaution and staying on the scene until 6am.
Half of the workshop was damaged by the fire – the cause of which is believed to be accidental.
Martin Statham, who is a group commander at Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said “When we arrived on scene we quickly discovered that the roof of the workshop which contained asbestos was involved in fire and called for our haz-mat team and a specialist hazardous materials officer to assist us.
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“As it was a car repair workshop we anticipated there might be gas cylinders inside the building so for the safety of the crews we decided to fight the fire from outside.
“We then subsequently discovered the acetylene cylinder and other cylinders which had been involved in the fire and used hoses to cool them to prevent it causing further problems.
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“Firefighters fought the fire in difficult conditions, made more complicated by having to deal with the additional risks from asbestos and a number of cylinders.
“They did a great job at containing the fire, reducing risks to themselves and neighbours and in containing the potential hazard from the acetylene cylinder.
“The crews are well trained in the decontamination of colleagues from hazardous materials and the procedures worked extremely well.
“I’d like to congratulate our firefighters and colleagues from Hertfordshire for a well-executed response to what could have been a more serious incident.”