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Last Updated: Friday, 1 February 2008, 07:53 GMT
Investigation into garage blaze
Sutton Courtenay garage fire

Police and fire officers are returning to an Oxfordshire village to investigate what caused a gas cylinder to explode, setting a garage alight.

Up to 100 homes near the garage in Sutton Courtenay, near Didcot, were evacuated on Wednesday morning.

Residents were only allowed to return on Thursday, 36 hours after the blaze which destroyed Sutton Courtenay Tyres.

Crews had to remain at the scene to cool down another three acetylene cylinders at danger of exploding.

The fire broke out at about 0700 GMT and people living near the site, at the junction of Milton Road, Harwell Road and the High Street, reported hearing explosions.

At the height of the fire, 90 firefighters battled the flames, which were described by eyewitnesses as 40ft (12m) or 50ft (15m) high.

A live mains cable over the garage was also brought down by the blaze and electricity to about 35 properties was cut, but no-one was injured.

Earlier, John Kelly, Oxfordshire County Council's emergency planning officer, praised the evacuated residents for their patience and co-operation.

"Obviously it's been a very difficult time for them but the people have been so understanding and have made our job so much easier," he said.



VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Mobile footage of gas cylinder explosion



SEE ALSO
Crews remain at garage fire scene
31 Jan 08 |  Oxfordshire
Electricity restored after blaze
30 Jan 08 |  Oxfordshire

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