Hundreds of people had to be evacuated from buildings on Brickhill Drive this morning (Wednesday) after a fire broke out on the roof of Bedford Heights.
As well as staff at businesses in Bedford Heights, dozens of people attending the NHS vaccination centre and members of Pure Gym were among those affected by the evacuation.
Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Services (BFRS) were on the scene for over four hours as they controlled the blaze.
“We were called to a fire on the roof at Bedford Heights Conference Centre in Manton Lane in Bedford at 10.39am today (Wednesday) after some solar panels caught fire,” said a spokesperson for BFRS.
“Crews from Bedford, Kempston, Sandy attended, along with water carrier from Kempston, drone from Harrold, aerial platform from Bedford, salvage unit from Potton and the Technical Rescue Unit from Dunstable.”
Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus extinguished the fire using two jets, dry powder and a thermal imaging monitor and crews left the incident at 2.42pm.
A spokesperson for Bedford Heights said: “Our sincere thanks to Rob and his team at Beds Fire for responding so quickly and stopping the fire.
“Most of our businesses are back in the building and working as usual, apart from our top floor which is inaccessible while we repair the water damage.”
They confirmed that there is no damage to the roof structure and BFRS have approved the building as safe for Bedford Heights’ resident businesses.
Despite the unscheduled interruption, all appointments at the vaccination centre were fulfilled.