‘Pick­ing up the pieces’ af­ter freak weather leads to yard fire

Aldershot News & Mail - - NEWS -

A CAM­BER­LEY busi­ness direc­tor has spo­ken of the ‘freak ac­ci­dent’ when se­vere weather con­di­tions caused a fire to take hold in his yard.

The direc­tor of River and Canal Ser­vices in Deep­cut Bridge Road is now ‘pick­ing up the pieces’ af­ter the blaze last Fri­day.

The direc­tor, who asked not to be named, said: “It was the cy­clonic winds just be­fore the thun­der­storm on Fri­day af­ter­noon.

“We had bright sun­shine then sud­denly it went re­ally windy.”

Crews from Wok­ing and Basingstoke fire sta­tions were called to the scene, af­ter be­ing alerted just be­fore 2pm.

“The wind whipped up some em­bers from a con­trolled fire in the yard,” the direc­tor said.

“And ev­ery­thing is tin­der dry at the mo­ment. The fire bri­gade just said it was a freak ac­ci­dent caused by the se­vere weather.”

He went on to re­veal that con­sid­er­ing the in­ten­sity of the fire, the yard had ‘not come out too badly’.

“The fire bri­gade did an amaz­ing job,” he said. “Now I’m just pick­ing up the pieces and try­ing to get on with it.”

An of­fi­cer who at­tended from Wok­ing Fire Sta­tion said: “It started at around 2pm and we left at 5.30pm.

“It was be­lieved to be from a con­tained fire in a cage but be­cause of the weather it had been whipped up.

“The em­bers were spread across the site caus­ing other ob­jects to alight such as a fi­bre­glass car, logs and tyres.”

The yard is lo­cated at a col­lec­tion of in­dus­trial units at Frimhurst Farm.

Res­i­dents had re­ported what sounded like an ex­plo­sion, with plumes of black smoke fun­nelling into the sky.

A spokesman from the Sur­rey Fire and Res­cue con­trol cen­tre said two en­gines from Wok­ing and Basingstoke fire sta­tions at­tended.

The fire in­volved 10 propane cylin­ders, which had to be cooled.

“The fire was marked as un­der con­trol at 3.33pm on Fri­day,” he added. “There is no in­di­ca­tion that it is of a sus­pi­cious na­ture.”

Else­where, the storm also dam­aged Red­fields Gar­den Cen­tre in Ew­shot Lane, Church Crookham, which had to be evac­u­ated. A sign in the cen­tre on Mon­day said staff were un­able to fully open the Cafe Theatre be­cause of weather dam­age.

Martin Creasy, from John­son Way in Church Crookham, also saw roads near his home be­come lakes in a mat­ter of min­utes with the thun­der rum­bling in the dis­tance.

“It was like a trop­i­cal storm – a long pe­riod of heat in­ter­rupted by a short, vi­o­lent storm. A man­hole cover was blown out in John­son Way and another in Bas­ing­bourne Road, with wa­ter pump­ing out,” said Mr Creasy.

“The rain ham­mered down so quickly and forcefully that I thought our gut­ter­ing was go­ing to col­lapse. When I looked out over our back gar­den the wind was bat­ter­ing ev­ery­thing – it felt pretty much as though we were on the edge of a tor­nado.

“The wa­ter was gush­ing down John­son Way for a while. It looked like a rag­ing tor­rent. An hour and a bit later and ev­ery­thing was dry – just like noth­ing had hap­pened.”


The af­ter­math of the fire in the yard of River and Canal Ser­vices, off Deep­cut Bridge Road in Frimhurst.

John­son Way in Church Crookham, was hit by flash flood­ing fol­low­ing the af­ter­noon storm last Fri­day.

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