Multiple fire crews at scene of St Albans blaze as smoke pictured over city

Smoke over St Albans during a fire which broke out in the morning of Monday, July 25

Smoke over St Albans during a fire which broke out in the morning of Monday, July 25 - Credit: Craig Shepheard

A fire has broken out in St Albans with a plume of smoke pictured in the sky over part of the city.

Multiple fire crews and police officers were on the scene following the outbreak of the blaze at around 11am on Monday, July 25.

The fire was in Orient Close, near the A1081 London Road and The Verulam Estate.

The A1081 London Road was shut shortly after the fire broke out at around 11.10am

The A1081 London Road was shut shortly after the fire broke out at around 11.10am - Credit: Pearce Bates

Smoke pictured over St Albans in the morning of Monday, July 25

Smoke pictured over St Albans in the morning of Monday, July 25 - Credit: Christian Bianchini

The A1081 was shut between St Albans city centre and London Colney while firefighting crews are on the scene. It reopened later the same day.

Several readers reported hearing loud explosions nearby, at around the time that the fire broke out.

"I heard a big bang about five minutes ago," one reader said at 11.15am.

Another said the smoke "can be seen for miles away on the M25".

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Pictures showed a plume of smoke rising from the city centre from the Napsbury area, near London Colney and How Wood.

The fire in St Albans as seen from Napsbury, near London Colney

The fire in St Albans as seen from Napsbury, near London Colney - Credit: Sam Greenwood

The fire in St Albans as seen from Napsbury, near London Colney

The fire in St Albans as seen from Napsbury, near London Colney - Credit: Sam Greenwood

Crowds watch smoke rise over St Albans while crews tackle a fire in Orient Close

Crowds watch smoke rise over St Albans while crews tackle a fire in Orient Close - Credit: Craig Shepheard

A Hertfordshire Constabulary spokesperson said at the time: "We are currently assisting the fire service at the scene of a fire in Orient Close, St Albans.

"Closures are in place on surrounding roads and people are asked to please avoid the area.

"Thank you."

According to Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, a car workshop and an adjacent row of commercial buildings were ablaze.

The control room sent 12 fire engine crews to the scene, as well as an aerial ladder platform and a control unit, a fire service spokesperson said.

Pictures after the blaze show several commercial units have been gutted, including CrossFit St Albans.

Crowds watch smoke rise over St Albans while crews tackle a fire in Orient Close

Crowds watch smoke rise over St Albans while crews tackle a fire in Orient Close - Credit: Craig Shepheard

St Albans residents watch thick smoke rise over St Albans

St Albans residents watch thick smoke rise over St Albans - Credit: Craig Shepheard

A police officer watches over the roads surrounding a blaze in Orient Close, St Albans

A police officer watches over the roads surrounding a blaze in Orient Close, St Albans - Credit: Craig Shepheard