Oxford

Fire tackled at Didcot Power Station

Didcot Power Station
Image caption The power station's cooling towers are a dominant feature of the skyline near Didcot

More than 100 firefighters have tackled a "difficult" fire inside Didcot Power Station in Oxfordshire.

Crews were called on Monday afternoon after the fire broke out in roof panelling above high-voltage electrical switchgear in the main turbine hall.

The fire service said it was its "most protracted and arduous incident for some significant time".

A spokeswoman for Npower, which runs the coal-fired plant, said it had not affected supplies.

Overnight 20 fire engines and five specialist vehicles from across the county have been at the scene.

No evacuation

A fire service spokesman said when crews arrived shortly after 1700 BST they were met with a "developing fire" which was "extremely difficult to access for fire fighting".

They used extinguishers and pulverised fuel ash from the power station to suppress the fire.

He added: "Crews wearing breathing apparatus worked in arduous conditions from ladders within the large turbine hall to contain the fire within the roof, and prevent further spread, whilst working closely with staff on site due to the high risk posed by equipment contained within the rooms below."

The fire is now out but crews will remain on the scene for most of the day to ensure that the fire is completely extinguished, he said.

Ambulance crews and police also attended and additional fire crews had to be called in.

The Npower spokeswoman said it was "a small fire" and no evacuation was necessary.

"The power station, staff, and the surrounding area were not in any danger, and normal operation at the station has not been affected," she added.

An investigation into the cause of the fire has begun but it is not thought to be suspicious.

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