UPDATE: Explosions felt and ‘mushroom cloud’ spotted near scene of fire at private ambulance station in Louth

One of the ambulances destroyed by the blaze. Photo: NSL Care Ambulance
One of the ambulances destroyed by the blaze. Photo: NSL Care Ambulance
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Residents felt numerous explosions as a huge fire tore through a private ambulance station in Louth on Monday evening, with one person describing a ‘mushroom cloud’ above the scene.

Four fire crews were scrambled to NSL Care Services in Warwick Road, on the Fairfield Industrial Estate, at around 8pm to the building which houses several ambulances, two of which were destroyed.

Crews reported that 80 per cent of the building was ‘severely damaged’ by the fire which is believed to have been started by an electrical fault in one of the vehicles.

One onlooker said: “My other half was working last night at Merlins and said he felt the explosion and someone told him they could see an atomic mushroom cloud above the area.”

Andy Ballard, a local resident, added: “Explosion heard and felt on industrial estate, people saying the windows shook.”

Other eyewitnesses said on our Facebook page that smoke was billowing out of the building for many hours.

Fire crews confirmed nobody was injured in the fire which also damaged a parking bay, kitchen and toilet.

A tweet from the company’s local Twitter account said: “We lost two ambulances in last night’s fire it was a fault with electricity in one ambulance. Well time to hit the road and start work.”

NSL Care Services, one of the country’s largest providers of patient transport services based in Shrewsbury, said investigations into the fire were underway but praised the work of fire crews and staff on the scene.

Head of communications Dr Belinda Webb said: “I can confirm that there was a fire at our Louth depot yesterday evening. No-one was harmed.

“We must praise the responsiveness of the fire service, as well as that of our colleagues on the ground.

“Due to our continuity plans, the fire has had, and will have, no impact on our patient transport services; patients will see no difference to journeys to their medical appointments throughout the region.

“We are not yet in a position to say what the cause of the fire was, as this is still being investigated.”

Were you on the scene? What did you see? Email your pictures and videos to sam.kinnaird@jpress.co.uk.