Nearly 100 firefighters tackled a fierce blaze at the Luton Asda superstore in Wigmore today, Beds Fire and Rescue Service has revealed.
A spokesman said that at the height of the incident, 16 fire engines were on the scene fighting the fire together with three arial platforms that poured water down onto the blaze.
After an emergency call at 11.11am, the fire was finally extinguished by 3.30pm and firefighters have remained on the scene to search for hotspots and dampen the debris down.
Colleagues from neighbouring fire services were also brought in to help bring the blaze under control.
Deputy chief fire officer Glen Ranger was in command of the incident. He said: “This was a major fire in a large building located near other businesses, domestic properties, a school and Luton Airport. We sent considerable resources to the site and hit the fire hard.
“This enabled our Firefighters to contain the blaze and fight it during the afternoon to get it first under control and then extinguish it. I’d like to thank all those who took part in keeping this fire contained to the Asda building and preventing it from affecting other properties.”
Chief fire officer Paul Fuller added: “Incidents like this show that even the most modern buildings can still suffer from major fires.
“The building’s sprinklers protected the main part of it but it is a reminder that there is still the need to maintain fire safety in even the most contemporary buildings.
“I’d like to extend my thanks to colleagues from Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire for their support during this incident.”
Two casualties were assisted by ambulance, suffering from smoke inhalation.
A full fire investigation into the cause of the incident will now be undertaken.