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Cordon lifted as Trowbridge residents return home after incident
8:53pm Monday 23rd September 2013 in News
Hundreds of residents have now been allowed back into their homes as police scaled down what they described as a 'major incident' in Trowbridge this evening.
Emergency services were first notified of a fire and smoke in a first floor flat of a house on the corner of Bond Street and Wesley Road at 5pm.
Two fire crews attended the unoccupied flat and nearby residents were immediately evacuated, with Bond Street being sealed off in both directions.
As investigations continued, the incident was scaled up to what police described as a 'major incident' at 6.30pm, and police extended the cordon to within 100 metres of the premises.
It was believed chemicals had been found and Ministry of Defence experts were called in, with one fire crew remaining on the scene to assist the police investigation.
The alarm was raised by Amadou Gillan, who lives in the flat above the fire. He said: “I was upstairs and I could smell the fire.
“I went downstairs and could see the smoke inside, and my neighbour, who was in the next flat.
“She was holding a garden hosepipe. She gave it to me and I knew I couldn’t put it out, and we just got out of there.”
Neighbour Julie Coombs also witnessed the fire. She said: “About lunchtime I could smell something like tar burning. I thought nothing of it, then it just got stronger, and I went outside and it was billowing out the back.
“I’ve seen the firefighters coming in and out with breathing apparatus. It was a horrendous smell.”
Hundreds of residents were evacuated, and gathered at the edge of the cordon, sharing cups of tea with the police officers manning the lines.
While Wiltshire Council was looking into the possibility of setting up a refuge centre at the Clarendon Sports Hall bomb disposal experts entered the flat, and the cordon was lifted around 8.40pm.
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