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