Shopping centre evacuated over fire

10 Jan 2012

An electrical fire forced hundreds of people to evacuate a shopping centre over the weekend.

The blaze, at Castle Quay shopping centre, was tackled by 10 firefighters from two crews in Banbury on Sunday.

Crews were called to the scene at around 1.09pm after reports of automatic heat and smoke detectors being activated.

Following this firefighters arrived at the scene within two minutes and shoppers and staff were evacuated.

The crews, who were wearing breathing apparatus, discovered the blaze in the underground section of the major distribution network of the centre.

However the presence of high-voltage electricity cables complicated the task of extinguishing the fire.

Once the firefighters got the blaze under control with their specialist extinguishing equipment the centre reopened at 3pm.

The crews also managed to clear the heavily smoke-logged areas using ventilation systems to allow the centre to reopen quickly.

Banbury's station manager Chris Wilson said: "The efficient and effective method of calling the fire service in this instance, joined with the speed and weight of the fire service attendance, meant that damage was limited and nobody was hurt. It also meant businesses were allowed to reopen as normal providing much needed revenue for the economy."

Copyright Press Association 2012

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