Shocking footage shows black smoke billowing from huge Reading fire

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Footage from the scene in Reading showed that a workman was lifted to safety by a crane

Two people have been taken to hospital after a huge blaze broke out at a high-rise building in Reading.

A workman was lifted to safety from the roof of the Station Hill development site in the Berkshire town by a crane. The two people taken to hospital were being treated for smoke inhalation.

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In a statement, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue said: “A number of our crews are currently on the scene. While emergency services work, we ask that people avoid the area where possible and close windows and doors if you live or work nearby.”

A South Central Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “I can confirm we’ve taken two people to the Royal Berkshire Hospital for further assessment and treatment for smoke inhalation, neither of whom were severe cases. We are now on stand-by supporting the fire service (which is a standard operational procedure when they are working at height and at scale).

“We have our hazardous area response team, an ambulance, the Thames Valley Air Ambulance critical care car, an operational commander, a tactical adviser and a tactical commander at the scene.”

Redwood Consulting, on behalf of Station Hill, said: “We activated our fire emergency plans immediately, the emergency services were notified and are currently on site. The safety of those on site and the wider public is always our first priority, and the site has been evacuated as a result.”

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