Fire crews still at site of Leicester blaze more than 24 hours later

  • Watch as smoke pours out of a shop on a busy Leicester street (Credit: Tylar Bless)

A fire broke out on the morning of Thursday 26 October, leaving smoke pouring out across the area - and crews are still on the scene.

The fire service has said that a cordon will remain in place over the weekend.

The statement from Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service states: "Over the weekend, activity will continue on Belgrave Gate and all cordons will remain in place affecting some local businesses.

"We are working with partner agencies to limit the impact and resolve this incident as quickly and safely as possible and we ask members of the public to kindly cooperate with us in doing so.

"Please avoid the Belgrave Gate area where possible and consider using Humberstone Gate West as an alternative."

A fire engine attending the scene. Credit: Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service

The blaze is believed to have started on the ground floor of Beauty Queens Cosmetics before spreading.

One retail worker said: "People are going to be gutted. That shop was always busy."

Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service advised locals to close all doors and windows due to the thick layer of smoke.

The street was closed to pedestrians - with engineers from Cadent Gas and National Grid on the scene of the major fire.

Metal barriers were placed around the scene while the fire crew continue to tackle the smoke.

The incident drew crowds of people who were advised to keep away from the site.

This picture shows the smoky scene. Credit: BPM Media

The area was covered in a thick layer of smoke - eyewitnesses on the scene said the smell was very strong.

One shopper, Joan Brady, said: "I saw the flames coming out of the shop and it looked totally out of control.

"The acrid smell of smoke was horrible. Apparently you could see the smoke from miles away. It was like a scene from a movie. I just pray no one was hurt."

A local business owner - whose shop was not affected by the fire - said: "The fire service was here when I got here. I could just see smoke but I didn’t know what was going on. Thankfully I’m not [within] the cordon."

The first emergency call was made at 9:40am on Thursday 26 October, according to Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service.

The fire service say they believe the fire was located on the first floor of the building. A spokesperson for the fire service said the incident, described as "fast moving", had been split into sectors to allow a crews to respond more effectively.

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