A huge fire at Nottingham station is being treated as arson, British Transport Police said.
A joint investigation is underway into the cause of the blaze, which broke out in a toilet block at the station early on Friday morning.
Nobody was injured but the fire later spread to the roof void, leaving more than 60 firefighters battling to bring the flames under control in “arduous” conditions using specialist equipment.
The blaze caused widespread delays to trains across the region, as well as affecting nearby roads at the tram system.
Picture from inside the train station here shows the conditions our firefighters are working in to keep you safe – currently working to stop the spread, please bear with us whilst we work to tackle the fire! #NottinghamTrainStation #HereForYou pic.twitter.com/qcwSFn7SyC
— Notts Fire (@nottsfire) January 12, 2018
Bryn Coleman, Incident Commander for Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, said they were called at around 6.30am to a fire involving a toilet block that had spread to the roof void.
He said the conditions were “arduous” inside the building and firefighters were using specialist firefighting equipment to tackle the blaze.
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The blaze, which started just before the morning rush hour, caused disruption across the local transport networks.
All trains were cancelled and East Midlands Trains advised people not to travel “unless it is absolutely necessary”, warning that trains would be disrupted on all routes through Nottingham for the whole of Friday, with further disruption expected across its network.
British Transport Police and Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service launched a joint investigation and urge anyone with information to get in touch.
Supt Sandra England, who is leading the BTP response, said: “Our officers have been on the scene at Nottingham railway station all morning supporting Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue firefighters as they deal with the large fire.
“Cordons remain in place around the area with nearby roads closed, and trains are not running. It is likely the station will remain closed all day. Fortunately, we have not had any reports of any injuries as a result of the fire.”
New transport minister Jo Johnson travelled to Nottingham to thank emergency services for their work.
He said: “It has been a devastating incident here at Nottingham station but it has been an extraordinary response from the emergency services.
“I have thanked today the incident commander for leading the extraordinary work that has gone on today.”
He said: “We have seen an exemplary evacuation this morning, there were two to three hundred passengers at the start of the rush hour who were evacuated safely and as far as we can tell nobody has been hurt in the incident.
“It is a devastating incident that has done substantial damage.
“I’m confident we will be able to get at least the bulk of the station back up and running.”
The Grade II-listed Nottingham station was built in the mid-19th Century and refurbished in recent years.
Police have urged anyone with any information to contact them on 0800 40 50 40 as soon as possible.