More than 70 firefighters battled throughout the night to extinguish a serious blaze at a scrap vehicle yard in Cheltenham.


The fire, which started at around midnight at Tudor Motors in Colletts Drive, involved the yard, its buildings and more than 100 cars. Firefighters fought the serious blaze to prevent it spreading to other properties, including a prestige car sales room, a builders' merchant and a sports clothing outlet.

At the peak of the fire, crews were forced to deal with controlling the dense billowing smoke and prevent run-off from potentially environmentally damaging fluids entering any water courses.

Group Manager Clive Alder, who was at the scene, said: "Without doubt, swift action by our environmental protection unit prevented water courses being polluted. It also enabled us to actually draw water from the River Chelt to supplement our water supplies to fight the fire."

Firefighters used the latest specialist vehicles to bring the blaze under control as quickly as possible, ensuring that neighbouring businesses and schools could open today. The stop message, which indicates the fire is under control, was sent at 5.40am.

Included in those specialist vehicles were two high volume pumping vehicles. These can deliver the required quantities of water straight to the aerial appliances, which allow crews to extinguish the fire from above.

Chief Fire Officer Jon Hall, said: "These high volume pumping vehicles are part of a national asset that we keep here in Gloucestershire. They were very well used during the floods in the county in 2007 and they certainly played a major role in this incident. They were a big help to firefighters in bringing the fire under control and preventing it spreading."

This morning, crews confirmed they are scaling down operations but expect to be at the scene for some time. Investigations into the cause are ongoing. All roads have now re-opened.

Cllr Will Windsor-Clive, Gloucestershire County Council Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: "Using our specialist equipment and resources, crews were able to bring the fire under control quickly, stop it spreading and prevent a pollution incident. This was an extremely challenging incident for our fire crews and yet again, they have proved their skill and professionalism in achieving the best possible outcome."


Posted: 2.12pm, 21.03.11