A huge gas main leak fire lit up the night sky in Hyholmes, Peterborough, this morning, with the ‘bright orange’ flames climbing higher than houses near the blaze.
Around 80 people have been forced to leave their homes due to a huge blaze after a gas main caught fire in the early hours of the morning.
Firefighters were called to a large blaze in Hyholmes, Peterborough, at 12.31am this morning.
One witness said the sky ‘looked like it was on fire’ from the inferno, while another said the flames were ‘higher than houses’.
Group Commander Danny Kelly of Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) said crews discovered a gas mains supply on fire, causing a leak.
No injuries have been reported.
Crews were still battling the blaze hours after arriving on the scene, before it was finally put out at 11.30am.
A spokesman for the gas company Cadent said the gas main is not expected to explode as it is outside.
They added that the fire service had evacuated nearby homes because of the heat of the fire.
“The large gas flame has literally just been reduced to around 4” now and once the gas is off completely the fire will go out,” the spokesman siad.
“We have not been made aware of any injuries and no gas supplies have been impacted either.
“Around 80 people have been evacuated and a 100 metre exclusion zone has been put in place as a safety precaution by the emergency services.
“Gas engineers are working to cut off the affected gas main, whilst also maintaining the gas supplies to the local residents. It is hoped the fire will be out by late morning/early lunchtime.
“Once this work has been completed and checks of the area have also been carried out, it is hoped that residents can then return to their homes.”
The spokesman later said the fire had been extinguished at 11.30am, with residents allowed to return home at 12.20pm.
Hyholmes resident Bryan Grantham told the Peterborough Telegraph: “My son is staying with us and got up to go to the loo. He saw the blue lights flashing and woke us up.
“We could see from our window that the flames were growing. They were shooting up and were above the height of the houses. It had been going for some time by that stage.”
One witness wrote on social media: “It’s bad like really bad I can see the flames from my window it’s gonna be hours before it’s out.
“I’m seeing quite a few people being evacuated from their houses hopefully we’re safe where we are but I hope everyone being evacuated is staying safe.”
Another local said they were awoken by ‘three large bangs’ – and looked outside to find ‘the sky looked like it was on fire’, describing the colour as ‘bright orange’.
Group Commander Kelly said it was hoped the gas could be shut off by about 7.30am.
He added that people had been evacuated to The Cresset performing arts centre in Bretton, where they were organised into household bubbles to comply with social distancing rules.
Flames could be seen in the sky above the area as the fire raged, in pictures released to social media by the fire service.
Firefighters set up hose reels to prevent the fire spreading to nearby homes, while a 100-metre cordon is in place as crews remain at the scene battling the blaze.
The fire service warned people to avoid the area and to keep windows and doors closed.
The blaze was audible in the background as Group Commander Kelly took to Twitter to give an update on the incident.
He said: “I’m here in North Bretton, Peterborough at a large incident involving a gas main which was ruptured.
“The fire service was called earlier this morning at 12.50, to what was believed to be a small fire in a garden.
“When crews arrived they discovered quite a large gas main on fire.
“Currently on scene we have four fire engines and two water carriers standing by. We also have police, ambulance, gas and electric on site as well.
“We’re working together to try and reduce and stop the gas from leaking, which is currently on fire.
“You may here it in the background, it’s quite a severe fire at the moment, and fire service are protecting surrounding properties.
“We have evacuated approximately 80 people from the surrounding area, and we have a 100-metre cordon in place which has been done by our police colleagues.
“I would ask that people keep clear of the general area. There’s a lot going on for us right now but we can reassure you that we’re doing everything we can to resolve the incident as quickly as possible.”
The Group Commander said he hoped to get the gas shut off by 7.30am.
He added: “That is an approximate time, and we’re working with our colleagues from the National Grid and the gas company to resolve it as quickly as possible.
“If that changes, we will update you as quickly as possible.”
Peterborough police wrote on Facebook: “Officers are currently assisting Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue Service in responding to a fire in Hyholmes, Bretton. An 120 metre cordon is in place and several properties have been evacuated as a precaution. Please avoid the area and keep windows and doors closed if you are nearby.”
A spokeswoman for CFRS said crews were still working prevent the fire from spreading to other properties.
Courtesy of mirror.co.uk
The sinkhole opened up on Monday morning. Pic: Vigili del Fuoco
Several homes have been evacuated after a lorry plunged into a massive sinkhole in Naples.
Much of the vehicle was left buried under dirt and rubble as a result of the collapse in the road, which also resulted in a broken gas pipeline, but the driver was rescued by firefighters.
Vigili del Fuoco, the Italian fire brigade, said nearby properties were evacuated as a precaution.
Italian newspaper Il Messaggero reported that the driver was taken to hospital – and the road was closed and cordoned off after the incident.
Water and electricity have been cut off from the Casoria area of the southern city while police and other rescue workers investigate the scene, with the sinkhole measuring eight metres wide and 12m deep.
The cause of the sinkhole is not yet known.
Courtesy of Sky News