Warner Bros Studios fire: Crews tackle blaze for 15 hours

Image source, South Beds News Agency
Image caption,
The fire started late on Wednesday night

Firefighters spent more than 15 hours tackling a blaze at Warner Bros studios.

Crews were called to the site in Leavesden, Hertfordshire, at 23:29 BST on Wednesday.

The fire service said the set involved was not being used at the time and there had been no reported injuries.

All eight Harry Potter films as well as other movies including James Bond, Fast and Furious and the Mission Impossible franchises have filmed at the studios.

The fire service confirmed shortly before 15:00 on Thursday the fire was out, although some crews remain at the scene.

A spokesman for Warner Bros said the fire had occurred on a sound stage being used for the television production Avenue 5, but all productions were able to continue working.

Avenue 5 is an HBO space tourism comedy by The Thick of It creator Armando Iannucci.

He thanked the firefighters who have "been working tirelessly throughout the night" and sent his "thoughts to the residents in the area who were disturbed by the night's events".

Image caption,
Originally 15 crews were sent to the scene but that later rose to 18
Image caption,
One of the fire engines could be seen parked by the perimeter of the studio site

Mark Hancock, who lives nearby, said: "My house is only about 200m away from the perimeter fence and we have a clear line of sight over gardens so we managed to see it out one of our windows.

"The smoke went high into the air, and as I watched, the smoke appeared to get thicker, so much so that we could see the flashing lights of the fire engines reflecting off the thick smoke.

"It was still going strong at about 1am and when I woke up this morning it was still smouldering."

He added there was a "strong smell and taste of smoke in the air".

At the scene

By Alex Pope, BBC News

As the studio is a closed set no-one can get close to the scene.

The studio backs on to a housing estate from where you can smell a faint burning odour.

A woman who lives there told me she was woken up by a strong smell at about midnight and her dog was barking and "he never barks".

"The smell was so strong I thought it was coming from the house," she said.

Another resident said she spoke to a firefighter this morning who told her it was "a significant fire".

Image source, Alamy
Image caption,
All eight films in the Harry Potter franchise were shot at the facility near Watford

A Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman confirmed 15 crews were sent to the scene when the fire broke out. That later increased to 18.

He said an aerial ladder was used as well as 12 sets of breathing apparatus.

Police also had to close off Bridge Road in Leavesden to allow the fire service to run a hose from the nearby canal to the site of the fire at its height.

Image caption,
James Bond and the Mission Impossible franchises have also been shot at the vast studios

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