Fire in Colchester’s Short Wyre Street started by blow torch

Short Wyre Street, Colchester. Picture: ANDREW PARTRIDGE

Short Wyre Street, Colchester. Picture: ANDREW PARTRIDGE - Credit: Andrew Partridge

A large fire that took hold of two properties in Colchester town centre today was started accidently by construction workers using a blow torch, brigade chiefs said.

The blaze affected the loft of a flat and the storage area of a shop in Short Wyre Street and spanned 15 by five metres.

Essex Fire and Rescue Service was alerted at 11.05am and sent two crews from Colchester, one from Wivenhoe and the aerial ladder platform vehicle from Chelmsford.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze by just before 12noon and then, using thermal imaging cameras to identify remaining hotspots, cut away areas of the roofs to make sure it didn’t reignite.

Both loft spaces were “destroyed” by the fire, a spokesman for Essex Fire and Rescue Service said, while the shop below suffered minor smoke damage.

The spokesman added: “The fire was caused accidentally by a blow torch, during construction work on the roof area.”

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