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80 firefighters battle "major" blaze at Liskeard Homebase store

There is a major fire at a Homebase store in Liskeard.

Crews from from Liskeard, Callington, Looe, Lostwithiel, Saltash, Bodmin, Wadebridge and St Austell arrived to find smoke billowing from the Bubble Retail Park building just after midnight this morning.

A spokesperson for Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service said the unit measuring seventy metres by thirty metres was “heavily smokelogged” on arrival and crews had been trying to gain entry.

A further update at 3am shows the interior of the premise was completely on fire and a safety assessment at the scene deemed it unsafe for firefighters to enter the building initially.

By 4am the fire crews had forced the building’s sliding doors open and were able to battle the blaze from just inside.

The fire is expected to take up to 24 hours to bring under control, according to Cornwall Fire and Rescue.

A Fire Investigation will be taking place later this morning.

The fire at Homebase broke out just after midnight and destroyed about 30 per cent of the store's stock, although the building itself was not badly damaged.

No one has been injured in the blaze, and an investigation into the cause is on-going.

Speaking from the scene this morning, fire incident commander Mark Hewitt from Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service said crews were called to the scene just after midnight.

“When the initial crews arrived they saw that smoke was billowing from the building and requested support appliances," Mr Hewitt said.

“We had a total of eight fire appliances and supporting specialist vehicles such as the incident command support vehicle.”

The fire crews had to cut through the metal shutters in order to gain access into the store, which suffered extensive damage due to the blaze.

“We had to break into the property using crash rescue cutting equipment,” Mr Hewitt explained.

“When the crew got inside we found a well-established fire inside the store.

“We mainly fought from the outside of the building until it was safe to let fire fighters with breathing apparatus inside to extinguish the fire.”

An investigation is due to take place later this morning to establish the cause of the blaze.

“At this time we don’t know what the cause was,” Mr Hewitt said. “Our fire investigation team is assembling. They should be starting their investigation within the next half hour.”

Mr Hewitt praised the work of the fire crews who tackled the fire for more than eight hours.

“The crews worked very well and saved the building to a degree,” he said.

“When this type of fire has occurred before the building was completely destroyed.

“The crews got in quickly and started tackling the fire quickly.”

Mr Hewitt said crews will remain on scene to monitor hotspots in the building.

Roads in the area have now been reopened.

Source : CGHollie - The Cornishman
www.thisiscornwall.co.uk/80-firefighters-battle-major-blaze-Liskeard/story-19859797-detail/story.html#axzz2gHqHQiQR

28 September 2013
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