Flat fire - Abbey Ward - Cambridge

Seven fire engines, along with the Multistar from Cambridge and the Command Support Unit from Huntingdon, attended a kitchen fire in a student accommodation block in New Street.

Around 250 students were evacuated from Varsity House after a fire started in an extractor fan in a kitchen and spread into the roof void.

Crews from Cambridge, Cottenham, Ely, Gamlingay and Newmarket, along with the Command Support Unit from Huntingdon, wearing specialist breathing apparatus used two hose reels to extinguish the fire.

Firefighters used the Multistar appliance to access the roof, cutting into the roof to check for hot spots and a positive pressure ventilation fan to clear the smoke, before returning to their stations just after 10pm.

Around 45 firefighters were on the scene tackling the fire.

No-one was injured or taken to hospital in the fire although six flats were affected by heavy smoke.

Station Commander Danny Kelly, from Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The actions of the crews were extremely good because they were faced with a large amount of people evacuating into the street and it is quite congested down there as it is right in the centre of Cambridge. The police were fantastic too because they helped us deal with a large amount of people, working with the management team from Varsity House.”

He added the swift response by fire crews helped prevent the fire from spreading.

“The swift actions of the crews meant the fire was contained to the room of origin and the roof space above it.”

Crews returned later last night to reinspect the site.

Cause of the fire was accidental by equipment.