Fire in central Headington: Saturday 22 July 2006

Seven fire engines with 50 firefighters were called to a fire at the Richens Mobility Centre behind the shops at the north-west side of Windmill Road on Saturday 23 July 2006 at 3pm.

The workshop that was on fire contained an acetylene gas cylinder, which had to be treated like an unexploded bomb and kept cool and observed for 24 hours. Hence a 200m cordon was set around the blaze, and all the houses in Kennett Road and those in Windmill Road north of Bateman Street were evacuated immediately. Residents further away from the blaze were allowed back after 7pm on the Saturday, but about fifty people from the top end of each street had to spend the night elsewhere and were not allowed back until the exclusion zone was lifted at 3.20pm on the Sunday.

Blaze from Kennett Road
From house at top of Kennett Road, c.2.20pm

Kennett Road
Top of Kennett Road, just before evacuation

Windmill Road
Windmill Road, c.5pm Saturday

Kennett Road
Kennett Road, c.5pm Saturday

From Kennett Road, Sunday
From house at top of Kennett Road, c.3.45pm Sunday

Richens after the fire
Storage building of Richens Mobility Centre, 24 hours after the blaze

Oxford Mail, 24 July 2006: “Fifty evacuated as fire rages

© Stephanie Jenkins


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