Huge 999 response after van with gas cylinders bursts into flames – residents evacuated

A busy Bristol street was closed and residents evacuated after a vehicle containing two gas cylinders set alight today.

Witnesses at the scene on Gilda Parade in Whitchurch said that emergency services responded rapidly to the danger and were there in minutes.

After putting out the blaze, fire crews used thermal imaging to ensure the gas cylinders were safe.

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Customers at the nearby Caffe Rosa were evacuated when smoke started billowing from the adjacent vehicle. They were then warned by an off-duty policeman that they would need to get much further back.

A spokesperson for Avon Fire and Rescue Services said: “Crews from Temple and Hicks Gate were called at 12:06 to reports of a fire on Gilda Parade, Whitchurch, Bristol.

“On arrival, firefighters found one van well alight. Two firefighters wearing breathing apparatus for safety used two high pressure hose reels to extinguish the blaze.

“The crews used gas monitors and thermal imaging cameras to ensure two propane cylinders in the vehicle were safe.

“Approximately 15 people were evacuated from surrounding properties, they have since returned as the scene is now safe.”

Avon and Somerset Police were also in attendance, managing the traffic and local people while firefighters dealt with the blaze.

The cause of the fire is thought to be accidental.

At 13:42pm the scene was declared safe and the road was reopened, though drivers faced long delays in the area and buses had to be rerouted.

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