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A “severe” blaze has forced at least 80 people to be evacuated from their homes in Peterborough.
The huge inferno has been caused after a gas main reportedly caught fire.
Huge flames were snapped spirally into 40ft into the air as one resident said: “It was pretty frightening.”
Cambridge Fire and Rescue said they were called to the blaze at 12.31am on Sunday.
Danny Kelly, group commander, said crews discovered a gas mains on fire causing a severe blaze.
And six hours after the first report the fire continues to rage.
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Crews are battling 30-40ft flames, according to one evacuated resident.
They said: “The fire was pretty frightening. Flames were 30 to 40 feet high that I could see. It was a dramatic scene.”
Danielle Skipp said: 'My boyfriend woke at 12.30 and heard a noise. We thought it was the TV so we unplugged it. We heard two bangs and at first thought it was work taking place on the railway nearby. But when my boyfriend looked out of the window the sky was glowing and blue lights were flashing.”
And another neighbour told Peterborough Today: “We could see from our window that the flames were growing. They were shooting up and were above the height of the houses
Speaking from the scene, Commander Kelly added: “I’m here in North Bretton, Peterborough at a large incident involving a gas main which was ruptured.
“The fire service was called earlier this morning at 12.50, to what was believed to be a small fire in a garden.
“When crews arrived they discovered quite a large gas main on fire.
“Currently on scene we have four fire engines and two water carriers standing by. We also have police, ambulance, gas and electric on site as well.
“We're working together to try and reduce and stop the gas from leaking, which is currently on fire.
“You may here it in the background, it's quite a severe fire at the moment, and fire service are protecting surrounding properties.
“We have evacuated approximately 80 people from the surrounding area, and we have a 100-metre cordon in place which has been done by our police colleagues.
“I would ask that people keep clear of the general area. There's a lot going on for us right now but we can reassure you that we're doing everything we can to resolve the incident as quickly as possible.”
Four fire engines remain at the scene as evacuated households have been organised into socially distanced bubbles.
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