‘Accidental’ fire engulfs van
A fire which engulfed a van and sent a plume of black smoke rising above Bath city centre during a rugby match was started “accidentally”. Fans at the Rec were distracted from the clash between Bath and Gloucester on Saturday afternoon when thick smoke started rising behind the stadium’s big screen. There were shouts from nearby witnesses of “fire” and early rumours suggested a blaze may have erupted at a burger van. It was later confirmed a vehicle containing rubbish was the source of the fire. The fire service said the cause of the sudden inferno was most likely accidental. A spokesman for Avon Fire and Rescue said crews from Bath fire station and Yate were sent to tackle the blaze at 5.16pm. They said they used a hose jet reel to extinguish the flames which damaged about 50 per cent of the van. A spokesman for the club said on Saturday: “The fire started in the back of a rubbish truck near the William Street entrance. “We’re not sure of the cause, but it could have been ignited by a cigarette butt being thrown in there.” The match, which ended in 31-31 draw, carried on uninterrupted after the fire was reported just before half time.