PLUMES of smoke billowed through Oswestry town centre last week when a fire broke out in a kebab shop.
The thick and heavy smoke billowed out from the flat above the Star Kebab takeaway and onto Leg Street on Wednesday afternoon following the incident which is believed to have been caused by faulty electrical wiring between the first and second floor.
Flames took hold of both floors and the roof space, while the street was sealed off for more than six hours while firefighters extinguished the flames.
And the drama continued when a cracked pipe discovered in a neighbouring property led to fears of a gas leak.
Tommy Lewis was one of the first on the scene.
He said: “We were just passing by and saw one of the guys who run the kebab shop stood outside. He handed me the phone and asked me to speak to the emergency services because he couldn’t speak English.”
Four fire crews were in attendance from Oswestry and Ellesmere, including the aerial ladder platform from Wrexham and two operational officers following the call at 3.55pm.
Police blocked the road from the junction of English Walls to Oswald Road.
Firefighter Adrian Bowen said: “The owner had been in the property and left to go and do something when his friend rang to say there was smoke coming from the property.
“He tried to put out the flames with a fire extinguisher, but realised it was too big a job and called us,” he added.
Following the initial work to tackle the flames, crews remained on scene until 10pm to cut away at the roof space where some “internal pockets of fire” remained.
They returned at 1.30am to check the property.
However, the discovery of the potential gas leak led to fears of further problems.
Officer Bowen added: “United Utilities found a cracked pipe leaking gas in one of the adjoining properties, so we increased the cordon and asked neighbouring shop owners to vacate their premises as a precaution.
“British Gas then attended and dealt with the matter.”
The owners of Star Kebab declined to comment.
Don’t leave scene of a fire, warns officer
A LEADING Oswestry firefighter has urged those making emergency calls to stay at the scene.
Adrian Bowen, from the town fire station, said it was crucial that people who call 999 to report a fire to stay close enough to the scene safely to assist when fire crews arrive.
His comments came after the call out to a fire in the flat above the Star Kebab takeaway in Leg Street, Oswestry, in which the owner made the call before leaving.
Officer Bowen said: “When we arrived we didn’t know if there was anybody in the property or anything, which we needed to know.
“But I would also say that if you can see smoke and flames stay and call the fire service,” he added.
The owner, who had tried to tackle the fire himself before calling the fire service, returned to the scene a short time later and was able to assist the fire crews.
It took firefighters six hours to put the fire out after it took hold in the first, second and roof space levels.