Eddie Mair 4pm - 7pm
Huge fire breaks out at Bournemouth's beach huts
20 July 2020, 16:28
A huge fire broke out at a beach hut in Bournemouth on Monday afternoon, quickly spreading up a grassy verge as sunbathers looked on from below.
Hundreds of beach-goers were forced to move away as the fire engulfed a verge behind the beach.
Police and fire services said the fire engulfed three beach huts and spread a further 100 square metres.
It caused by an accident while someone was cooking, according to Dorset fire service.
Pictures of the fire showed the flames spreading from the grassy verge near the sand to the top of the hill close to the promenade.
Beach hut explosion in Bournemouth pic.twitter.com/r8cJlZmp1S— Phoebe (@Phoebe_Siders) July 20, 2020
Speaking to LBC News, one witness, Phoebe Siders, said she had been evacuated from the area along with other beachgoers.
"There was huge black clouds and we noticed beach huts on fire," she said as she recalled the moment she saw the flames, adding that it was a "very dangerous" scene.
She said: "I’m not sure if anyone was hurt, hopefully not. It’s devastating to see.
"The emergency services have done a brilliant job."
The fire at West Undercliff in #Bournemouth is now out, crews are still damping down but we are scaling back our attendance. The blaze started accidentally in a beach hut due to cooking. It's now safe to open doors/windows if you're in local area. pic.twitter.com/iLK6Y2xI9z— Dorset&Wiltshire FRS (@DWFireRescue) July 20, 2020
The Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service said attended the incident and urged people nearby to keep doors and windows closed due to "significant smoke".
The spokesperson said: "We were called to the scene at 3.51pm and have fire crews in attendance from Redhill Park, Springbourne, Westbourne and Christchurch, together with the aerial appliance from Westbourne.
"Additional crews are en route.
"The fire is causing significant smoke across the promenade and across West Hill Road.
"People are asked to stay away from the area, and to keep doors and windows closed as a precaution."
It said in a later statement that the fire had been brought under control and was caused by an accident.
#LatestNews Please avoid the area of the West Cliff lift on Bournemouth’s West Cliff following a beach hut fire, which has spread to nearby beach huts and is moving up the cliff. A cordon is in place for the safety of members of the public. We are assisting with the cordon.— Dorset Police (@dorsetpolice) July 20, 2020
Dorset Police called for people nearby to avoid the West Cliff lift for the time being due to the blaze.
It added: "A cordon is in place for the safety of members of the public.
"We are assisting with the cordon."