A garden centre in Cardiff came close to being destroyed by a fire Wednesday evening ( November 20th).
The blaze ignited at Blooms Garden Centre on Newport Road in St Mellons, Cardiff at approximately 22:00 GMT and South Wales Fire and Rescue Service worked through the night trying to get it under control.
The BBC reported that it took five hours before the flames were quelled, and not before 70 per cent of the garden centre was destroyed. However, the 46 firefighters on scene were successful at preventing the fire from spreading to neighbouring buildings.
As a safety precaution, homes nearby were evacuated, but fortunately no one was injured during the incident.
An investigation is ongoing into the cause of the blaze, however, the first person to raise the alarm Ellis Pyman, who spotted the fire driving past. Wales Online reports that the fire began in the kitchen.
“We were just going round the roundabout when I saw what I thought was a bonfire,” Pyman told the website.
“Then I realised it was bigger than that and called 999 straightaway. We stayed at the scene until just after midnight. The firefighters were working hard to make sure it didn’t spread to the other shops on the site.
“There were reports that the fire might have started in the kitchen. It is really sad to see because it was such a great place to visit. We would usually go at Christmas time to pick up some presents.”
High winds did provide a challenge to the firefighters attending the blaze and extra resources had to be called in. It was further exacerbated due to some minor explosions during the fire, which Brian Thompson, group manager at South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, believes were cylinders.
In a bid to remove potential fire hazards, commercial buildings and non-domestic premises in England and Wales are already forced to undertake a ‘suitable and sufficient’ fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
While the overwhelming majority of premises do this, if the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.