Blaze writes off Sheffield firm’s van fleet

Samples Express Vans Fire at Oughtbridge Lane,Oughtibridge
Samples Express Vans Fire at Oughtbridge Lane,Oughtibridge

Residents were woken by a loud explosion as fire ripped through the car park of a refrigeration distribution business.

Ten vans at Samples Express on Oughtibridge Lane in Oughtibridge, Sheffield, were destroyed by the blaze and there was at least one explosion - caused by the flames coming into contact with the vehicles’ stores of refrigeration gas.

Firefighters were called at 3.30am yesterday following reports of smoke in the area. Further calls while crews were en route reported the explosion.

Samples Express transport manager Stuart Peaker said: “Everybody is gutted.

“We have all been told there will be no deliveries today but we will get further news once they know when they’re going to get replacement vehicles.”

A South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “There was damage to all 10 vehicles that the business owned. All will be written off.

“The fire had also spread into an outhouse.”

Some damage was also caused to the main building as the fire made its way through two windows.

Samples Express employs 18 staff at the Oughtibridge site. They transport food samples, and pharmaceuticals to laboratories.

Police shut down Oughtibridge Lane during the incident as the fire crews’ water ran across the road and froze, causing hazardous conditions.

Three appliances from Rivelin, Elm Lane and Tankersley stations attended the scene and spent about four hours bringing the situation under control.

An investigation has concluded the fire had been started deliberately.