PHOTOS: Fire fighters battle large blaze at Chivenor car compound

11:51 23 November 2013

The scene of the fires at Chivenor Business Park this morning.

The scene of the fires at Chivenor Business Park this morning.

Archant

Police are treating the fire, which saw residents evacuated and more than 25 cars destroyed, as arson.

The scene of the fires at Chivenor Business Park this morning.The scene of the fires at Chivenor Business Park this morning.

AROUND 40 vehicles were involved in a large fire which started in Chivenor Business Park in the early hours of this morning (Sat).

The fire, which has destroyed 14 cars and 19 minibuses at Chivenor Trade Centre, is being treated as arson.

A number of residents were evacuated to a nearby chapel in marine barracks due to a gas main involved in the thick of the fire.

The large blaze began among the hire vans and cars, with another smaller fire in a van on the other side of the compound next to the café.

The scene of the fires at Chivenor Business Park this morning.The scene of the fires at Chivenor Business Park this morning.

Neil Blackburn, group commander for the fire service, told the Gazette at the scene it had taken around 35 fire fighters to stop the blaze.

“Our main concern was the governor gas assembly,” he said.

“We had to keep this burning because otherwise it could have caused a gas cloud which would have been a lot more dangerous.”

The fire service received several calls reporting the blaze at the vehicle compound, and sent crews from Barnstaple and Braunton.

On arrival at 4am, crews requested back up from Barnstaple and Ilfracombe, a water bowser and an incident command unit.

By 4.30am, it was confirmed around 25 per cent of the vehicles were well alight. Wales and West Utilities attended to isolate the gas supply and crews fought the flames wearing breathing apparatus.

By 5am, the amount of breathing apparatus wearers were increased at the scene and crews had to use a nearby hydrant for water and call for a foam systems appliance from Appledore.

There were two separate seats of fire in the compound and at 5.30am, crews withdrew from the site while further inspection of the gas main took place.

By 5.50am, the small seat of fire was extinguished but the fire had escalated on the main side. Crews used breathing apparatus wearers to combat the flames and the fire was extinguished at 7.30am.

Police investigating the fire have carried out house-to-house enquiries and investigations into the fire, which is thought to have been started between 2am and 4am.

A police spokesman said: “We are keen to hear from anyone who saw anything unusual, particularly along the Tarka Trail between the Braunton Inn and Chivenor roundabout, in the early hours of the morning to contact police.

“We are also keen to speak to anyone who may have been working at the nearby Chivenor Business Park and may have been starting or finishing a shift there to call police with any information.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 quoting reference 148 of November 23, 2013.

To see more photos click the gallery on the right of the page. Did you see the blaze? Email your photos to newsdesk@northdevongazette.co.uk.

0 comments

Other News Stories

08:00
North Devon Magistrates' Court.

The 20-year-old caused more than £5,000 worth of damage to parked coach after drink excessive amounts of lager.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:30
North Devon Magistrates' Court.

The 52-year-old made 320 calls in 2014 after doctor told her to call out-of-hours number if she felt unwell.

Read more
Fri, 17:00
Site manager Stephen Hall gives the Gazette a tour of  Anchorwood Bank in Barnstaple. Picture: Andy Keeble

Demolition contractor gives us exclusive access to Barnstaple’s biggest regeneration site in a generation.

Read more
Fri, 15:24
Roots Manuva will be headlining GoldCoast Oceanfest on Friday, June 19

GoldCoast Oceanfest has announced the first of its headliners for this year’s festival.

Read more

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 4°C

Most Read News

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition today E-edition



North Devon's trusted business finder