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Fire breaks out at greenhouse party

News | Published:

A PARTY was taking place at a glasshouse when a large fire took hold, a neighbour has said.

Firefighters were called to Merton Vinery on Rue des Pointes, St Andrew’s, just before 8pm on Sunday. Black smoke could be seen across Talbot Valley and flames were coming from the roof.

The Joint Emergency Services Control Centre received six 999 phone calls from people calling for help.

Guernsey Fire & Rescue Service were dispatched immediately and arrived on scene at 8pm. It took more than two hours to put the fire out and firefighters stayed on the scene until after 11pm.

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A Fire & Rescue spokesman said the road was closed during the incident and people were asked to avoid the area.

‘The cause of the fire is unknown at this time, but Guernsey Fire & Rescue have cordoned off a large area of the site due to structural damage to the greenhouse itself,’ he said.

The glasshouse has been used for allotments in recent years.

A neighbour said there had been problems in the past, with the site used for social gatherings, and she understood that people had been warned not to have barbecues inside.

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Yesterday morning, the property was cordoned off with fire tape, with a large sign propped up against the entrance warning against having bonfires.

‘There was definitely a party there,’ a nearby resident said.

‘There were some balloons up along the chain link fence to show people where it was.’

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She also saw teenagers and young people outside the property after the fire started, as well as at least one adult.

After Fire & Rescue had the fire under control, a number of vehicles that had been parked at the rear of the site were seen leaving the property.

There had been claims in the past that people had been living on the glasshouse site, which is designated as horticultural land. The property owner did not wish to comment on the incident yesterday.

Juliet Pouteaux

By Juliet Pouteaux
News reporter

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