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Roads reopen as minibus blaze is dealt with by fire crews in Lowestoft

PUBLISHED: 13:25 09 February 2017 | UPDATED: 16:13 09 February 2017

Workshop blaze being tackled in Lowestoft. Picture: SIMON WARD

Workshop blaze being tackled in Lowestoft. Picture: SIMON WARD

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A minibus blaze in a workshop unit in Lowestoft has been contained by firefighters.

The workshop unit blaze in Lowestoft. Picture: CHRIS ARLOWThe workshop unit blaze in Lowestoft. Picture: CHRIS ARLOW

Six fire crews from Norfolk and Suffolk were called to Whapload Road at 9.39am this morning (Thursday) following reports of a blaze in a workshop unit of the John Grose car dealership.

Lowestoft firefighters at the scene of the workshop unit blaze in Whapload Road. Picture: MICK HOWESLowestoft firefighters at the scene of the workshop unit blaze in Whapload Road. Picture: MICK HOWES

As large plumes of smoke billowed in the skyline, Lowestoft police closed off Newcombe Road to all traffic, while Whapload Road was closed between Wilde Street and Battery Green.

The scene of the blaze in Lowestoft. Picture: ANDY SMITHThe scene of the blaze in Lowestoft. Picture: ANDY SMITH

The roads reopened at about 12.40pm with two crews remaining at the scene.

The workshop unit blaze in Lowestoft. Picture: ANDY SMITHThe workshop unit blaze in Lowestoft. Picture: ANDY SMITH

A spokesman for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service said: “What we understand is that a minibus in a workshop unit is ablaze.”

Fire crews from Suffolk and Norfolk tackle a minibus ablaze within a workshop on Whapload Road, Lowestoft. Pictures: CHRIS ARLOW 

Fire crews from Suffolk and Norfolk tackle a minibus ablaze within a workshop on Whapload Road, Lowestoft. Pictures: CHRIS ARLOW

Andy Smith, of nearby On A Roll Food Bar, said: “Basically at about 9.35am this morning I noticed commotion going on as a congregation of workers from John Grose began gathering outside the garage.

Fire crews from Suffolk and Norfolk tackle a minibus ablaze within a workshop on Whapload Road, Lowestoft. Pictures: CHRIS ARLOW 

Fire crews from Suffolk and Norfolk tackle a minibus ablaze within a workshop on Whapload Road, Lowestoft. Pictures: CHRIS ARLOW

“At first I thought it was a drill then I heard sirens and saw black smoke billowing out from the building.

Crews from Norfolk and Suffolk were called to the minibus blaze in a workshop unit in Lowestoft. Picture: MICK HOWESCrews from Norfolk and Suffolk were called to the minibus blaze in a workshop unit in Lowestoft. Picture: MICK HOWES

“The black smoke got really, really bad then fire engines turned up.

John Grose Fire in Lowesstoft. Photo: Mick HowesJohn Grose Fire in Lowesstoft. Photo: Mick Howes

“We gave the workers drinks and apparently they said someone was welding a Transit van which caught fire and they were unable to put it out and had to evacuate the building.”

John Grose Fire in Lowesstoft. Photo: Mick HowesJohn Grose Fire in Lowesstoft. Photo: Mick Howes

Karl Rogers, sales manger at John Grose, added: “Everybody got out safely after a van caught fire and hopefully the fire service can contain the fire quickly and safely.”

Witnesses at the scene also described the showroom at the unit being “full of smoke”.

The brigade spokesman added: “Two fire engines initially mobilised from Lowestoft. Crews arrived on scene and requested a further two appliances for assistance in dealing with the fire. At 10.05am this incident was sectorised, and at 10.11am crews requested a further two appliances to make them up to six.”

By 10.30am the fire was “surrounded,” and under control, as firefighters stopped it from spreading.

Check back on this website for more details soon.


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