Tuesday update from Gibbs Crescent, Osney Mead

Firefighters have now left the scene of the incident at Gibbs Crescent having gathered evidence in recent days that will contribute to a continued joint Police and Fire and Rescue service investigation in to the cause.

Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service Manager Jason Crapper said: “We are now longer at the scene. Monday was our final day on site and we have now handed the scene to Thames Valley Police and A2Dominion. However, clearly, the investigation continues, so our overall involvement has not ceased.”

Thames Valley Police remain on scene at this time helping to manage the process of handing the site over to A2Dominion, which should happen in the coming days.

Investigation into the cause of the explosion and fire remains ongoing off site.

Alternative housing

Meanwhile Dawn Wightman, A2Dominion Group Housing Director, has said that they are continuing to support residents who have been affected by the explosion and fire at Gibbs Crescent.

She said: “Where it has been safe to do so, we have arranged for residents to move back into their homes. Three more households were able to return yesterday (21 February).There are still 13 households currently staying in alternative accommodation. We were able to arrange access yesterday for a number of these residents to collect personal belongings.

“We are still assessing the extent of the damage to the worst affected homes and trying to establish timescales for when residents will be able to return.

“For a small number of residents, it is likely their homes will need to be demolished and they will need to be re-housed. We met with these residents yesterday and we are gathering all the information we need to match them to suitable alternative housing. The timescales for when this will happen are unknown at the moment and will depend on individual requirements.

“We have now also set up a temporary office on site to offer on-going support. This is an extremely difficult time for all affected residents and we are continuing to provide as much assistance as we can.”