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November 24, 2023

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Major fire at building site in Reading

The blaze broke out in Reading city centre on Thursday (23 November) morning, with the site having to be evacuated.

A man was also seen to be trapped on a high-rise building next to the one that was burning, and was filmed being lifted to safety by a crane.

Two people were taken to Royal Berkshire Hospital for smoke inhalation.

A spokesperson for Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue said: “Upon arrival, crews discovered a fire in a high-rise building under construction. Firefighters equipped with breathing apparatus are using two main jets to fight the fire.

“We understand that two people were rescued by a crane and have been placed in the care of South Central Ambulance Service. All other people have been accounted for at this time.

“Black cloud… and a ball of flames”

The BBC reported an eye witness who saw the fire from 100 yards away saying: “I saw a black cloud go up and a ball of flames happen and all of a sudden I could see there was a guy trapped on the corner.

“There were bits of glass falling off the side of the building and he was completely exposed up there.

“Then all of a sudden a crane came out from the left with a carriage on it and they lowered it down… and he gets in and they pull him away.

“There was a massive cheer from all the workers on the ground. It was pretty terrifying.”

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue service said this afternoon: “The fire has now been extinguished and we have scaled back our resources at the incident, but a number of crews will remain at the scene at this time to dampen down.

“Thank you to everyone for their ongoing cooperation during this time.”

The cause of the fire is not yet known.

In July, another high rise construction fire had broke out in Reading causing the nearby shops and businesses to be evacuated.

This article was first published on SHP’s sister site for fire and security news, IFSEC Insider. 

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