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Dramatic Rescue as Fire Engulfs Reading High-Rise: Two Hospitalized

Reading, Berkshire - November 23, 2023

A harrowing scene unfolded in Reading as a large fire broke out at the Station Hill development site, prompting a significant response from emergency services. The incident, reported at 11:38 am near Napier Road, involved a considerable rescue operation with a crane lifting a workman seemingly trapped on the burning high-rise. Video footage captured the tense moments as the individual was safely lowered to the ground, eliciting applause from onlookers. Glen Edwards, the crane worker involved in the rescue, described it as a "close call" due to challenging conditions, including strong winds. "I got the cage on and over to him the best I could. It was quite windy conditions. I would say it was a very close call," explained Edwards, emphasizing the difficulty of positioning the crane's cage amid swirling winds. Fortunately, the rescue was successful, and the individual was taken to safety. The Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service, with over 50 firefighters on the scene, received reports of the blaze at the high-rise building under construction. Two individuals were taken to the Royal Berkshire Hospital for smoke inhalation treatment, while residents were advised to keep doors and windows shut, with nearby roads closed. By 4 pm, the fire service announced that the blaze had been extinguished. Thames Valley Police worked to allow access for unaffected residents and hotels, urging those in the surrounding area to stay indoors. The incident occurred at the £750 million Station Hill development, close to Reading Station, designed as a business and living quarter for the town. The building in question, the One Station Hill development, is a 16-storey office block set to open next year, containing 15 floors of workspace and a fitness club. This isn't the first time the One Station Hill development has faced a fire; a previous incident occurred in July of this year. The recent blaze has raised questions about safety measures at the construction site, and investigations are expected to follow. As authorities continue to assess the situation and ensure the safety of the affected premises, questions about the project's timeline and safety protocols during construction linger. The incident is a stark reminder of the challenges and risks associated with high-rise developments.

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Tags: #Reading #Rescue #Firefighter #Berkshire #FireBrakeOut


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