Witnesses describe 'melting metal' and 'blown out windows' at high rise fire in Reading

Witnesses at the scene of a major fire in Reading town centre have described seeing 'melting metal' and windows 'blowing out' as the flames spread through the building.

Fire crews remain at the scene of the blaze which broke out on Thursday morning at a high rise building in Station Hill near the train station.

Passers by were left in shock watching from the ground, as two workers who were trapped in the building were winched to safety using a crane.

People living and working in nearby homes and offices were forced to evacuate as they watched debris falling from the burning building.

  • People living and working nearby have described watching the devastating fire unfold.

One resident who lives near where the fire broke out said: "I saw flames coming out and there was a lot of smoke.

"The glass of the windows was shattered they were melting down. Everything was burning."

Another woman who saw the fire spread across the building added: "We were so worried if there were any people up there.

"That was the first thing we thought."

  • Hair salon owner Jane Sneddon describes the moment they became aware of the fire.

Jane Sneddon owns Ruby Reds Hairdressers and was alerted to the blaze when an employee came running in to warn them all to evacuate the building.

"She literally was facing the fire on her way down. She came through the doors and told everyone to get out as she saw debris falling.

"Luckily we had no clients in the middle of treatments - we just picked up our belongings and the second we walked out the door we could feel the heat from the fire.

"We made out way through the alleyway where there was a huge congregation of people and all the local businesses and then just stood back to look at the devastation unfolding in front of us.

"It was very scary and I'm just hoping and praying that everyone is ok."

Fire crews have confirmed that the blaze has now been extinguished. Credit: ITV Meridian

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue have confirmed that the fire has now been extinguished.

Christopher Hutton, of the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "Just after half 11 today, we received reports of a fire on Station Hill in Reading.

"At its peak, over 50 firefighters were on the scene from fire stations across the county.

"Crews found the fire in a high-rise building under construction. Firefighters equipped with breathing apparatus used two main jets to extinguish the fire.

"We understand that two people were rescued by a crane and have been placed in the care of South Central Ambulance Service and fortunately, all other people were accounted for.

"The fire has now been extinguished and we have scaled back our resources at the incident, but a number of crews will remain at the scene at this time to dampen down."

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