90 people evacuated following fire at Waddesdon
Archived press release
Date Published: 03/04/09
Ninety people had to be evacuated from their homes during the night because of a garage fire in the High Street.
Many went to family and friends whilst others have been taken to an emergency rest centre which was set up by Aylesbury Vale District Council at the Guttmann Centre, Stoke Mandeville. The British Red Cross is providing support at the centre.
Andrew Grant, AVDC Chief Executive, explained, “One of the council’s primary roles in an emergency is to find suitable temporary accommodation and we are very grateful to the Stoke Mandeville Stadium for responding so quickly to our request for help. Being evacuated from your home in the middle of the night is very distressing. Fortunately, we are now able to arrange for people to go home but during their stay, we did all that we could to re-assure people and make them feel as comfortable as possible."
A 150-metre cordon was out in place around the incident because of the risk of acetylene cylinders exploding. People living closest to the fire - from High Street and Baker Street - were initially taken to Waddesdon Fire Station for safety.
British Red Cross volunteers offered help from their Fire and Emergency Support Service vehicle, which was brought in from Bletchley Fire Station.
The first of 12 calls to the fire at Vale Tyre Services came in at 1.18am. The first crews to attend were from Waddesdon and Aylesbury, who were confronted by a well-developed fire in the 10m by 20m building.
They were joined by crews from Haddenham and Bletchley. At its peak, there were more than 40 firefighters and officers at the scene. Firefighters were able to bring the fire under control using a series of ground monitors.
Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service's Assistant Chief Fire Officer Denis O'Driscoll, who was also at the scene, said: "The fire could very easily have spread to a nearby terrace of houses, but thanks to the successful early intervention of the crews this was prevented.
"Although this incident has caused serious damage and a lot of disruption, everyone has worked together extremely well to minimise the impact.
"The evacuations were necessary because of the potential risk to the safety of residents from cylinders exploding. I would like to thank the residents affected by this for their co-operation.
"I would also like to thank the police and emergency planning officers who have worked so hard with us through the night."