At 2.11pm on Friday, 26 May, we received a report of a fire on the second floor of a building in Friar Street, Reading.
Fire crews are in attendance.
We are urging people to avoid the area if possible to allow emergency services clear access to the scene.
If you are using public transport in the area, please find an alternative route.
Further updates will be provided.
Fire crews from Caversham Road, Wokingham Road, Whitley Wood, Theale, Wokingham, Crowthorne and Bracknell, along with two Officers are on the scene.
An Aerial Ladder Platform (ALP) from Whitley Wood Fire Station and an Incident Command Unit (ICU) from Maidenhead Fire Station are also in attendance.
We currently remain on the scene at a fire on Friar Street, Reading. Please continue to avoid the area if possible to allow emergency services clear access to the scene and if you are using public transport in the area, please find an alternative route.
As a precaution, we are advising residents and businesses to keep windows and doors shut if you live/ work in the immediate area affected.
Emergency services are likely to remain on the scene for some time. Thank you for your ongoing patience and cooperation.
Incident updates will continue to be provided on Twitter.
Fire crews will remain overnight at the scene of the fire on Friar Street in Reading.
The road remains closed between Greyfriars Rd and Queen Victoria Street.
We are working with our partner agencies to bring the incident to a conclusion.
Thank you for your patience with the disruption.
12pm on Saturday, 27 May
We are still in attendance at the scene of the fire on Friar Street in Reading. We are assessing the building and will reduce the cordon as soon as it is safe to do so. Thank you for your ongoing patience with the disruption this is causing.
3:30pm on Saturday, 27 May
Firefighters have now left the scene of the incident on Friars Street, Reading.
Over 50 firefighters at the peak of the fire, worked alongside partners, including Thames Valley Police, South Central Ambulance Service, Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service and Reading Borough Council overnight at the scene.
Crews in breathing apparatus used jets, hose reels and the Aerial Ladder Platform to extinguish the fire.
Friar Street has now reopened to pedestrians and vehicles.
Thank you to everyone for their patience and cooperation while emergency services dealt with this incident.
1pm on Tuesday, 30 May
Rob Read, Group Manager for RBFRS, said: “Following the incident on Friar Street, Reading on Friday, 26 May, we would like to thank everyone for their patience and cooperation while emergency services dealt with the incident.
“Firefighters worked on the scene overnight to extinguish the fire on the second floor of the property, alongside partners from Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service, South Central Ambulance Service, Thames Valley Police and Reading Borough Council.
“Fortunately, no one was in the premises at the time of the fire.
“Crews remained on the scene for over 20 hours before scaling back resources. A fire crew has continued to attend to re-inspect the property over the bank holiday weekend and check for any hotspots.
“Due to the buildings integrity being compromised by the fire, firefighters have been re-inspecting using the Aerial Ladder Platform and thermal imaging cameras.
“While Friar Street was reopened to pedestrians and vehicles on Saturday (27 May), we would like to thank local businesses and residents for their ongoing patience as there continues to be some impact to the immediate area surrounding the fire.
“At this time, it remains difficult to access the building internally due to the fire damage to establish the exact cause; however, it is not believed to be suspicious.
“We have now handed over the site to colleagues from Reading Borough Council and continue to work closely with them to support the recovery work.
“Businesses concerned about fire safety or wanting to know more about how to protect their premises, can contact us through our website for more information: www.rbfrs.co.uk/your-safety/safety-at-work/our-fire-safety-offices.
“Additionally, we will be holding Fire Safety in the Workplace sessions for local businesses, which take place on 6 and 8 June. You can register to attend online: Workplace fire safety sessions | Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (rbfrs.co.uk).”