At 9.24pm on Wednesday 29th April 2015 firefighters were called to a fire involving light industrial units, containers and oxy-acetylene cylinders at Bowstridge Lane, Chalfont St Giles.
The fire at Little Stivers, opposite Windmill Farm in Bowstridge Lane, involved four portable buildings and parked vehicles. There were several explosions from oxy-acetylene cylinders. One explosion brought down an overhead power line, which in turn ignited a hedgerow.
Upon arrival at the scene the firefighters established cordons with the assistance of the police. Several households were forced to evacuate their homes for the night due to their proximity to the danger.
A police helicopter flew over the incident and was able to provide information to the firefighters on the size of the fire and any fire spread caused by exploding cylinders.
Over thirty firefighters and six fire appliances with crews attended the incident, two fire appliances came from Beaconsfield fire station and one from Gerrards Cross, Amersham, Slough and Rickmansworth fire stations.
High Wycombe fire station despatched a turntable latter to the scene while a water tanker from Princes Risborough fire station was also in attendance along with a number of officers. An advisor on hazardous materials and environmental protection also attended.
Ground Monitors were used during the operation to extinguish the fire. A Ground Monitor is device placed on the ground which has a water jet attached and can be left in position without the need for a firefighter to manually hold the water jet. They are mainly used on large fires where copious quantities of water are required or in circumstances when it is necessary to leave a large working jet in a position of danger.
Firefighters remained at the scene throughout the night and three crews were still there at 7.30am on the morning of Thursday 30th April 2015. Once the danger from exploding gas cylinders has abated an investigation into the the cause of the fire will begin.