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Garden centre blaze sparks concern at Heathrow airport

Published: 21 November 2016 - Jenny Wonnacott

A large fire is said to have almost entirely destroyed an independent, family-run garden centre just a few miles from Heathrow airport.

Around 20 calls were reportedly made to the fire brigade, with many concerns raised over the fire
Around 20 calls were reportedly made to the fire brigade, with many concerns raised over the fire's proximity to Heathrow airport

The fire broke out at Ansell Garden Centre on Holloway Lane, Sipson, at around 4.30pm yesterday. Plumes of smoke soon engulfed the area, sparking concern at the nearby airport.

A 1,000ft (300m) cordon was put in place at the scene to prevent any explosion after fire crews discovered cylinders and fireworks at the site, according to the London Fire Brigade.

Around 20 people had reportedly left the building prior to the emergency services arriving, and no reports of any injuries have been made. Around 20 calls were made to the fire department, with crews attending from Heathrow, Hayes, Hillington, Feltham and Southall.

It took 15 fire engines and their crews to control the blaze, which was finally subdued by around 9.30pm.

The cause of the fire remains unknown, with investigations due to take place today. The fire did not affect any flights at Heathrow.

London Fire Brigade station manager Sanjay Prasad said, "Firefighters worked very hard in difficult conditions to bring this incident under control. A number of cylinders were in the garden centre which is why a 300 metre hazard zone was set up as cylinders can explode when exposed to heat.

“Quick thinking firefighters were able to drag the majority of the cylinders away from the fire which prevented a possible explosion. Then firefighters used covering jets to cool the remaining cylinders down.

“Fireworks were also being stored at the garden centre but again, firefighters hosed the storage area down to ensure they did not can catch alight.

“Most of the garden centre building has been damaged by the fire but crews were able to contain it and prevent any further spread. Thankfully nobody has been injured in this fire.”

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