October 1, 2016
Highbridge Caravans fire: Crews battle huge overnight blaze

Fire crews from across Somerset battled a huge blaze at the site of Highbridge Caravans in the early hours of Saturday (October 1st).

These were the scenes at the huge blaze, which was first reported to the fire service just after 1.30am.

Over 60 calls from the public were received after sounds of explosions were heard from exploding gas cylinders at the site.

A first fire appliance from Burnham-On-Sea was sent just after 1.30am following a call from a member of the public reporting that they could see a fire coming from the back of some trees opposite the Bristol Bridge Inn on the A38. Shortly afterwards, the fire service received a call from the security staff at Highbridge Caravans confirming the fire involved a shed and fence and was quickly spreading.

How the incident unfolded:

At 1.49am, crews increased the attendance by two further fire appliances, and a water carrier - all from Bridgwater - as the fire was getting larger and moving close to several caravans.

At 1.53am, further appliances from Bridgwater, Taunton and Cheddar, together with a command support unit from Street, were sent to the scene after the fire spread to several caravans nearby.

At 2.05am, confirmation came in from the fire service that the fire was rapidly spreading through the caravan site and involved many LPG cylinders, which had started to explode.

The fire service received numerous calls from members of the public, which exceeded over 60 in total.

2.10am: Four more fire appliances were mobilised at this time from Taunton, Winscombe and Bedminster.

Shortly after this another request came in for two aerial appliances, which came from Weston Super Mare and Yeovil.

By 4.20am, the incident had been 'sectorised' to enable crews to tackle the fire as effectively as possible, and a natural fire break was created, after crews moved as many caravans as possible. The fire was surrounded and the main fire had been put out.

The incident was starting to be scaled down, but a spokesman telling "This is going to be a protracted incident with crews currently at work with 6 main jets, damping down a large area of hotspots."

"Police, Ambulance and utility companies are also in attendance. No persons were injured and the cause will be determined once the fire has been fully extinguished."

9am: Fire crews are still at the scene, damping down the area affected. The A38 is fully open past the scene.

10.24am: Crews have now confirmed approximately 160 caravans have been destroyed or damaged in this fire. Crews are still damping down hot spots and investigations into the cause of the fire are underway. Crews are using a hydraulic platform to assist in aerial photographs of the site as part of the fire investigation.

1.30pm: Crews have confirmed that there were also two sheds on the site which have been destroyed by the fire.

2pm: All crews left the site but investigations into the cause of the fire are still ongoing.

Photos: Chloe Baker, David Whatley,, Clare


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