THE fire at Didcot Power Station is under control and the smoke is not hazardous to the public, a fire chief has said tonight.

The blaze at Didcot B station broke out just after 8pm and 60 firefighters have been fighting it.

Oxfordshire's chief fire officer Dave Etheridge said just after 10.15pm that the fire was under control and the smoke plume was not thought to pose a health risk to the public.

He also said the fire was not expected to cause any power blackouts.

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Reader Steve Shadbolt sent in the image above of the smaller towers ablaze.

He said: "I live on Great Western Park and I looked across at the power station and there was this bright light.

"I got my camera and zoomed in and realised one of the towers was alight.

"It burnt so fiercely that it spread to the next one.

"It's now dying down. At the time it was quite a blaze but just seems to be embers now. I imagine the fire service have got everything under control."

Mr Etheridge said 60 firefighters plus support vehicles were at the scene, including three hydraulic platforms.

He added: "I am very pleased to say that the fire is now under control. We have been working very closely with out colleagues at the Didcot site and there's absoltely no risk to the public from the smoke plume and no power outages as a result of this incident.

"These fires are always tricky for us to fight. I am sure you can appreciate that water and electricity do not mix.

"It was a very serious fire and our crews have been working very hard in difficult conditions - it's been very windy this evening."

He told Sky News no one had been injured.

Mr Etheridge added: "We use the hydraulic platforms to tackle the fire and we also use them as a vantage point to understand what is going on."

He said power station staff had quickly shut down the site to stop it generating power.

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  • Picture from Georgina Miles

A spokesman for RWE Generation, which runs the plant, said the fire was contained in what he described as the cooling tower module.

A spokesman for National Grid said: “We’re aware of the incident and in contact with the station operator RWE. There has been no immediate operational impact on the electricity system.”

  • If you have any pictures or further information please tweet us at @TheOxfordMail or call us on 07767 417704.

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Reader @SwedishMike posted the picture above of the blaze on Twitter and has told us: "We can just see what looks like a heavy fire, helicopter in the air and have seen fire engines head there."

Our reporter at the scene Alex Wynick said a police helicopter was overhead and police dogs are on the ground at the scene. A large cordon has been placed around the site.

Didcot mayor Scott Wilgrove was at the scene and said: "I hope nobody is hurt."

Didcot B power station is a natural-gas power plant that was built between 1994 and 1997.

Didcot A was the coal and gas-fired power station that had its three iconic cooling towers demolished in July.

  • More pictures from reader Helen Young

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Here's the video of the demolition of the Didcot A towers in July