ELM: Ten homes evacuated for at least 24 hours after garage fire.

PUBLISHED: 17:25 12 March 2009 | UPDATED: 08:56 02 June 2010

RESIDENTS of a rural Fenland road have been told to stay away from home for at least 24 hours after a garage fire this afternoon (Thursday). An acetylene cylinder was in the garage, in Begdale Road, Elm, and there is a possibility it could self-heat and e

RESIDENTS of a rural Fenland road have been told to stay away from home for at least 24 hours after a garage fire this afternoon (Thursday).

An acetylene cylinder was in the garage, in Begdale Road, Elm, and there is a possibility it could self-heat and explode.

Firefighters from Wisbech and Outwell were called to the blaze, at 2.04pm, which is believed to have started accidentally.

A spokeswoman said: "Firefighters arrived and discovered a fire in a garage. The garage measured about 10m by 3m and contained one oxygen cylinder, one acetylene cylinder and two carbon dioxide cylinders.

"Crews set up a 200m cordon around the area and evacuated 10 homes. This was due to fears over the acetylene cylinder exploding and causing an explosion."

Jets and hose reels were used to extinguish the fire, but the cordon was kept in place for safety. One adult male was treated at the scene for shock.

Harry Edge, station manager at Wisbech Fire Station said: "Firefighters quickly ascertained cylinders were involved in this incident and set up a 200-metre cordon to keep residents safe. In total we evacuated residents in 10 homes surrounding this address.

"Although the fire is now out, if the acetylene cylinder has become too hot, there is a danger that it could start to self-heat and possibly explode. Acetylene is a very explosive substance and any attempts to move it would be dangerous. Therefore we need to leave it to cool for 24 hours.

"We have been working together with the police to advise residents to stay out of their homes while the cylinder cools.

Did you see the fire? Are you one of the residents affected by the cordon? Have you any pictures of the fire? Call our newsdesk on 01354 652621 or email thomas.jackson@archant.co.uk.

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