Investigation underway after huge substation blaze at Grantham

Substation fire in Grantham. Photo: Troy Taylor
Substation fire in Grantham. Photo: Troy Taylor
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Firefighters remain at the scene of a Grantham substation which was ablaze yesterday evening, sending smoke billowing into the air which was visible for miles around.

Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue still have one crew in attendance at the electricity substation on Spring Gardens, Grantham. Severe damage was caused to an electrical transformer containing oil, and firefighters remain on site this morning to cool the substation.

They extinguished the blaze using foam, but there were fears that the fire would spread to a second substation, with police ordering onlookers to stay back yesterday evening. Using two ground monitors and positive pressure ventilation fans, firefighters were able to prevent the fire from spreading.

The cause remains under investigation, although Lincolnshire Police say that it is not thought to be suspicious at this stage.

Crews were called to the scene at around 5.15pm yesterday, and the blaze was brought under control shortly before 10pm.

Trains on the East Coast Mainline were temporarily halted through Grantham, with disruption continuing until around 9.30pm. The managing director of Virgin Trains East Coast, David Horne, has apologised to those customers affected.

Substation fire in Grantham.

Substation fire in Grantham.

Eyewitnesses describe hearing a fire engine approach the sub-station, before an explosion shortly afterwards.

Judi Brooks, at employee at Kennelgate on London Road, said: “The windows shook, it was like an earthquake, that’s the only way I can describe it.”

A spokesperson for Lincolnshire Police confirmed: “We and Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue were called to the EON electricity sub-station at Spring Gardens, London Road, Grantham about 5.15pm.

“We were asked to close off London Road (the A52) and some of the side roads (including Spring Gardens) whilst Fire and Rescue dealt with the fire.

“It is not known at this stage what caused the fire and we do not believe anyone has been injured.”

Western Power Distribution confirmed that the blaze initially caused a power outage for just under 13,500 homes, but they were able to quickly re-route supplies to alternative generators.

“Everyone had power back within about two hours, but those on generators may have still experienced some disruption overnight.

“Our engineers have been on site and the investigation into the cause is still ongoing.”

Many readers have sent in pictures and videos of the blaze, including filmmaker William Ross (see above).

Updates as we have them.