UK

Man And Woman Killed In Windermere Fireworks Blaze

31/08/2014 16:35 BST | Updated 31/08/2014 18:59 BST

A man and a woman were killed in a fire that may have been caused by fireworks that were meant to be a grand finale for a wedding.

Cumbria Police said a shed containing fireworks - reportedly being stored for the finale - caught fire on Saturday afternoon at a property on the shores of Lake Windermere, they said.

The bodies of a man and a woman were found. It is understood the wedding was taking place at the property at the time of the fire.

A finale of fireworks was planned along with a band, caterers and marquees, according to neighbours living nearby, The Daily Mirror reported.

A neighbour of the property told the Westmorland Gazette: "We understood they were going to have fireworks which were going to be in the evening and were having a marquee. It's so sad."

cumbria wedding fire

Firefighters at the scene

A man who attended the celebration, who did not wish to be named, said: "It was a beautiful sunny day and then there was this almighty bang and then the fireworks started going off.

"I thought this was the wrong time for it, we were wondering why it was being held in the bright daylight.

"The shed was somewhere behind the marquee so I couldn't see the flames but there was debris all around and I could see a large plume of smoke.

"All the guests were running away. It was terrible. Obviously a lot of people were very upset, everyone was in shock. Nicole was obviously extremely upset."

He said photographs of the wedding party, including the bride and groom, had been taken before the explosion within the grounds of Larch Cottage and that a band had began playing earlier in the afternoon.

Neighbours John and Enid Battersby, who live opposite, both compared the noise that rocked the serenity of the afternoon to the Manchester Blitz of 1940 when the German air force bombed the city centre.

Mrs Battersby said: "It was very frightening. It was an enormous explosion which I had not heard anything like since the blitz in Manchester.

"There was this one big sound followed by further smaller bangs and pops and a cloud of smoke then drifted over as all the police cars and fire engines arrived."

A police spokesman added: "We were called at 3.35pm on August 30 after a shed containing fireworks was on fire.

"Two bodies, believed to be a male and a female, were found. Police and the fire service are investigating the circumstances that led to the fire."

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service said: "Firefighters were called to deal with a serious fire involving two adjacent outbuildings in the grounds of a large house in Ecclerigg, near Windermere.

"Four fire engines from Windermere, Ambleside, Staveley and Coniston were sent to the scene and crews found a well-developed fire involving the two outbuildings.

"Four firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used two hose reel jets and compressed air foam to bring the fire under control."

A spokesman said: "At 15.32pm firefighters were called to deal with a serious fire involving two adjacent outbuildings in the grounds of a large house in Ecclerigg, near Windermere.

"Four fire engines from Windermere, Ambleside, Staveley and Coniston were sent to the scene and crews found a well-developed fire involving the two outbuildings.

"Four firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used two hose reel jets and compressed air foam to bring the fire under control."