Crews from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service have tackled a major fire involving a large, under-construction timber-framed building in the Gershwin Road area of Basingstoke. Resources were mobilised from across Hampshire, Royal Berkshire, and Surrey to tackle the incident which took place on September 10.

BasingstokelargeHampshire Fire and Rescue Service worked in partnership with Hampshire Constabulary, South Central Ambulance Service, and Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council to minimise disruption to residents in the Brighton Hill area during the incident. Hampshire County Council also set up a rest centre at Lodden Vale Indoor Bowls Club to look after the needs of residents that were evacuated as a result of the blaze.

The incident raised the issue of the dangers of timber-framed buildings. Hampshire CFO and President of CFOA John Bonney, who attended the scene, said: "This incident has once again highlighted just how potentially dangerous the threat of fire can be in timber-framed buildings whilst they are under construction. When timber-framed buildings catch fire, the actual structure burns. It often leads to total collapse, and that puts the safety of our firefighters at risk.

"The potential for fire spread was clearly of major concern at this incident, and shows that the Chief Fire Officers Association is right to be increasingly concerned about the number and severity of fires in timber framed buildings under construction."

The stop message was received at 1004 the day after. Two tower cranes and assorted builders' vehicles were also damaged by the fire, while around 50 surrounding dwellings as well as Brighton Hill Community College were affected by smoke and flame brands. A joint investigation is underway with fire investigation officers and the police to establish the cause of the blaze.

Date posted 14 September 2010