M40 service station destroyed

The Cherwell Valley Services on the M40 near Bicester have been almost completely destroyed by a fire.

More than 120 firefighters from five counties were called to the service station near Ardley at 1pm on Thursday 15 April 2010, and crews spent the night tackling flames.

The fire started inside the building and quickly spread to the roof space, where it engulfed the entire building.  The roof is collapsing in sections, and crashes were heard during Thursday afternoon as parts of the roof came down.

The fire is still smouldering and firefighters are working throughout the day on these pockets of heat, but the vast majority's now been extinguished.

All those inside the services building were evacuated safely, and no-one was hurt.  Because no-one was left inside, Oxfordshire's Fire and Rescue Service say they would not send firefighters into the building until it was deemed safe to do so.

Richard Bowley from Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue service told Heart the fire's is likely to take two days to investigate. They're not treating the fire as suspicious at the moment. They reckon it'll be a painstaking task to find out the cause of the fire but are confident they'll find out how it started. They say they're working with Thames Valley Police, South Central Ambulance Service, as well as the Environment Agency.

The M40 has remained open during the fire, although smoke has been billowing across the carriageway.  The only road closed during the fire was the A43, across junction 10 of the M40 but that's now open. 

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