25 May 2010
More than 40 firefighters and officers have been at the scene of a fire at Waterside House in Woodley Headland, Peartree Bridge, Milton Keynes.
The fire is believed to have started in the roof of the two-storey, 50-metre by 50-metre building, which has four wings.
Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service was alerted at 8.44pm. Three crews from Great Holm and two each from Broughton and Bletchley attended along with a turntable ladder and support vehicles from Aylesbury and a crew from Towcester. They are using four main jets and an aerial monitor.
The building, which was unoccupied and boarded up, is on land bounded by the canal, the marina and the junction of Standing Way and Marlborough Street.
Area Manager Darryl Keen, the senior officer at the scene, said: "It was well alight when the first crews arrived and sections of the roof have collapsed. Although our firefighters have worked extremely hard under very difficult conditions the building has clearly suffered significant damage.
"Our initial estimate is that about three-quarters of the roof and first-floor have been damaged.
"One of our concerns in the early stages was the effect of smoke travel on people living nearby, but we have been able to avoid inconveniencing local residents without compromising their safety.
"It has not been necessary to move them out while we deal with the incident. Firefighters and police officers have alerted nearby householders and asked them to stay inside with their doors and windows shut.
"The cooperation from Thames Valley Police has been magnificent and I would like to thank their officers for the way they have managed the cordon around the scene."
Group Manager Ian Taylor, the incident commander, sent the stop message at 11.30pm but said firefighters would be at the scene all night and throughout the day, damping down and searching for hotspots.
The first two relief crews, from Buckingham and Aylesbury, arrived at 12.30am after waiting on standby at Great Holm and Bletchley.
An investigation into the cause of the fire is due to begin at 9am.