Residents evacuated and three teens arrested after 12 fire crews tackled huge blaze in derelict building in Ampthill

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Residents in Ampthill pulled together to help people evacuated from their homes after a huge blaze in the town on Sunday.

People living in homes in Moor Pond Piece were evacuated to Ampthill Rugby Club and nearby homes were warned to keep doors and windows closed after fire broke out at the former Agate House building on Woburn Road on Sunday afternoon.

Twelve crews from Ampthill, Kempston, Bedford, Toddington, Luton, Biggleswade, Shefford and Leighton Buzzard were called to the blaze at around 3.50pm.

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Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used hose reels, jets and an aerial platform to contain the fire but are still on the scene today (Monday).

The abandoned buildings were destroyed in the blazeThe abandoned buildings were destroyed in the blaze
The abandoned buildings were destroyed in the blaze

Three teenagers have since been arrested on suspicion of arson offences and have been bailed pending further enquiries.

During the height of the blaze a 200m cordon was put in place and people living nearby were asked to stay indoors and keep windows closed to prevent smoke inhalation.

People in nearby parks were also asked to leave and avoid the area.

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The blaze was under control by Sunday evening and an investigation into the cause is ongoing.

Firefighters are still on the sceneFirefighters are still on the scene
Firefighters are still on the scene

Praising the emergency services and the community Cllr Susan Clinch said: “A big thank you from all of Ampthill to all our Emergency Services - Fire, Ambulance and Police all working together on response to the fire at the Agate House site on Woburn Road.

“Fire under control so quickly, resident evacuation of the neighbouring property done smoothly and with care, concern explanation and follow up, site kept secure overnight and investigation of cause underway.

“Thanks as well to Ampthill Rugby Club who provided a welcome for our displaced residents. A big incident for a small town that could have been so much worse without this prompt and co-ordinated action.”

Police are requesting for more information regarding the blaze. You can call 101 and quote reference 279 of 12 May.