It was a busy night for Calderdale fire crews – and one freak fire was caused by a discarded cigarette thrown down a drain outside a pub.
Several properties were evacuated as a safety precaution amid fears of exploding gas cylinders as firefighters tackled the blaze in the basement of the Plummet Line Hotel in Bull Close Lane in Halifax town centre.
A small group of regulars in the pub at the time were evacuated along with people in neighbouring properties because of reports there were gas cylinders in the basement.
Watch commander Gaz Tully, of Halifax fire station, said: “It looks like a discarded cigarette thrown down an outside drain ignited some rubbish in the drain which spread to some timber in the cellar. They have been quite lucky because the fire was caught quite early.
“There were a few locals and a few members of staff when the alarm was activated. We were told there were cylinders in the basement. Surrounding premises were evacuated and a cordon was put round by the police.”
Firefighters used breathing apparatus and two hose reels to tackle the fire and fans to clear the basement of smoke – and were able to confirm there were no cylinders.
Halifax firefighters were also called out to an accident involving two vehicles in Cleveland Avenue, Siddal.
A VW Golf had collided with a parked Nissan Micra and flipped onto its side. The driver was able to get out of the vehicle and was unhurt. Fire crews assisted the police at the scene of the crash, which happened at about 10.15pm.