Fire guts St Albans homes - updated

FIREFIGHTERS spent over three hours battling a major blaze which tore through a house in St Albans overnight.

Crews from St Albans Fire Station were called to the scene in Artisan Crescent off Oysterfields at around 1.30am and found a semi-detached property well alight with both the ground and first floor engulfed in flames.

The fire spread to the roof of the property as well as the roof of the adjoining house, and other neighbouring homes were evacuated.

Other crews from around the county were called upon for assistance along with the aerial ladder platform which came from Stevenage.

Two calor gas cylinders at the rear of the property were also affected and had to be cooled to prevent any explosions.

The fire was all out at about 4.30am but it rendered both homes totally uninhabitable. One person required first aid at the scene.

David Bogle, chief executive of Hightown Praetorian and Churches Housing Association, which owns both homes, said that it appears that some items were burning in an oil drum in one of the back gardens and caught fire to some tarpaulin, causing it to then spread to the property.

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He said one of the families has been rehoused temporarily by the district council while the other one is staying with family members.

Mr Bogle said it has been a “lucky escape” for those involved and that he was “greatly relieved” that nobody was injured.