July 25 2014 Latest news:
Story by: ANDREW PAPWORTH
Monday, May 19, 2014
Neighbours have described how they heard explosions from a house which burst into flames in a small Cambridgeshire village.
People living opposite the derelict property in Cambridge Road, Oakington called the fire brigade after hearing popping and cracking from the building at about 7.30pm today (Saturday, May 17).
When firefighters arrived, they discovered a well-developed fire in the building, with flames coming out of the windows and plumes of grey smoke which could be seen from as far back as the A14.
Watch commander Richard Powell said crews used two jets and a hosereel to tackle the blaze but that it was too dangerous to enter in the immediate aftermath.
He added that firefighters expected to spend at least a couple of hours at the scene damping down and investigating the cause.
Three fire engines attended the incident.
Thomas Ambrose, 18, of The Broadway, Oakington - which backs onto Cambridge Road - said: “We thought it was someone having a bonfire but then the smoke just got thicker and thicker.
“There were flames pouring out and the house was just engulfed. It was like a dark raincloud.
“I backed away when I heard one of the pops from the house. There were explosions here, there and everywhere.
“It is a bit of a shock. You don’t really see this sort of thing round here.”
His friend Dion Edwards, 21, of Ashcroft Court, Arbury, Cambridge added: “The whole house was just engulfed in smoke.”
Richard King, of Cambridge Road, said: “You could hear popping and cracking. It sounded like someone was letting off fireworks.
“I then saw a plume of grey smoke and called the fire brigade.”
Firefighters said those sounds were most likely to be asbestos in the roof exploding.
Cambridge Road was shut between the Oakington crossroads and Orchard Way, meaning people trying to reach the village from Girton had to be diverted several miles via the A14.