A flat was destroyed and a building of residents evacuated after a blaze in Buetown this morning.
Firefighters are still at the scene at Loudoun Square in Butetown after the fire began around 7.40am – and became so fierce that it led to the collapse of the building’s roof.
It is not believed that either of the occupants of the top floor flat were in the building and there are no reported injuries, but smoke damage has forced around 13 residents to seek emergency rehousing by the council.
South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, which had five fire engines at the scene, said that the building had been evacuated and that an investigation was underway into what caused it.
A spokesman added initial inquiries pointed to an electric heater as a possible cause, and said that it did not appear to be suspicious.
Neighbours on the street reported seeing clouds of black smoke and an acrid burning smell, which travelled as far as Lloyd George Avenue.
One neighbour, who asked not to be named, said:
“My daughter called me to say there was a fire outside where she lives on the next street.
“There was this thick black cloud out here. I thought somebody was smoking in my house, as I could smell it inside.
“When I came out here you could barely see – it made a thick haze of fog. It was black and grey. Some of the others were saying that streets away you could barely see anything – that’s how bad it was.”
Another neighbour said:
“All I know is that a couple of people passing this morning on their way to work raised the alarm.
“I know that one man lives there and he was at work – I live by here and was coming home and saw all the fire engines coming around. It was apparently quite bad.”
Speaking at the scene, incident commander for South Wales Fire and Rescue, Dan Pullen, said that the two people believed to live in the council-owned flat were believed to be accounted for.
“On arrival, there was obviously a well-developed fire on the third floor, and at the time we were unsure if any person was unaccounted for.
“A builder had seen the fire and made entry there, but the fire pushed him back. We believe that this time, and we’ve got fire investigation here, that it was possibly an electric fire was left on, but it doesn’t appear to be suspicious.”
He said that between 12 and 13 other residents from other parts of the building needed to be rehoused due to smoke damage to the building as a whole.
“We believe that nobody was inside [the flat], but we are making inquiries to make 100% sure. At the moment, we are comfortable that the two residents that live there have made themselves known.
“With a top floor flat, it has gone straight to the roof and made its exit.”