Video: Fire rips through hangar at former RAF base at Manby (update)
FIREFIGHTERS were this morning investigating the cause of a huge blaze which tore through a hangar at a former RAF base.
The fire broke out at about 5.15pm yesterday at the building on Manby Airfield, near Louth, causing several explosions.
At its height, there were 10 fire appliances at the scene, and police warned the public to stay away because the hangar was at risk of collapsing.
A 200-metre cordon was put in place as plumes of black smoke billowed from the burning roof – which could be seen from as far away as Mablethorpe.
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The hangar is owned by Winchester Marine Ltd, and is used to store diesel engines.
Staff were on site at the time of the fire and were evacuated, but no one was hurt.
As reported throughout last night on www.thisisgrimsby.co.uk, the hangar was well alight by the time the emergency services arrived.
At one point, Lincolnshire Police warned people to stay away because they were “hampering fire crews and putting themselves at risk”.
Gas cylinders and acetylene cylinders were believed to have been exploding inside the hanger as fire crews attempted to keep it under control.
Firefighters remained on the scene overnight to make sure the fire did not reignite.
At the time of going to press, crews were still tackling the blaze and the cause was unknown, but thought to be an industrial accident.
Residents in the village described how they heard about four explosions at the peak of the blaze, and of such force that the ground shook.
Submitted video of an explosion at RAF Manby on Monday evening
Laura Kirby, 19, of Fury Avenue, Manby, filmed footage on her mobile phone of the incident.
“This is very rare for something like this to happen in the village,” she said.
“The explosions were so loud we could hear them clearly in our house.
“The hangar just turned bright orange with what I can only describe as a fireball coming from it.”
Fellow villager Dave Young, 15, said: “There was thick black smoke when we first came out to look, but after an hour it seemed to die down.
“I have never seen so many emergency service vehicles in one place at one time.
“The explosions really shook the village. I rang my mate straight away when it happened.”
Winchester Marine Ltd’s website said it works from The Old Grain Stores, in the Middle Gate area of the airfield.
The business trades in diesel engines and spares, powerpacks, water pumps, generators, forklifts, cranes, and ex-MOD, NATO, and Government surplus, as well as marine engines, trailers, trucks, winches, gearboxes and bladder tanks.
A representative of the firm last night told the Telegraph it was in constant communication with Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service as the incident was dealt with, and that it would provide an update today.