Fireworks spark evacuation

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FIREFIGHTERS evacuated residents from their homes in Banbury as they tackled a blaze involving fireworks and a gas cylinder.

At about 11pm on Saturday, firefighters from Banbury received reports of the fire in a detached double garage in Woburn Close.

On arrival crews were faced with a large amount of smoke coming from the building and were told fireworks and a barbecue gas cylinder were inside the garage.

Firefighters evacuated nearby residents and told the remainder to stay indoors. They then entered the garage wearing breathing apparatus and extinguished the fire using high pressure fire hoses.

Incident commander watch manager Andy Ford said it was fortunate the blaze did not lead to an explosion and said: “Two problems we were faced with in the garage that could have been very dangerous to us were the fireworks and the barbecue gas cylinder, both of which could have exploded in the fire.

“It was very helpful to us that the resident alerted us to these hazards in the garage as we could take appropriate action and ensure the safety of the public and our Fire-Fighters.”

An investigation revealed the fire had been caused by boxes of used fireworks which had been put in the garage after a display in the owners’ garden earlier in the evening.

Firefighters are reminding people of the dangers of fireworks and have advised members of the public to put all used fireworks in buckets of water after use.