THE fire service was called to extinguish a huge blaze after a 56 year-old camper van caught fire in Cinderford this morning (Wednesday, July 5). 

Local residents stepped in to help the owner after the vehicle caught fire on Valley Road at around 10.20am. 

Thankfully no one was hurt in the incident and witness Conor Kavanagh said the owner was “fine”, but “gutted” to have lost the camper.

Plumes of black smoke billowed from the van as Conor and others helped the owner stop traffic and called the fire brigade, who arrived shortly afterwards.

Conor said the owner was driving to a nearby garage when the fire started.

He quickly disconnected the battery which he thought would help, before the flames grew.

As the van burst into flames, three loud bangs were heard from canisters of gas he had in the kitchen area.

A neighbour then made the owner a cup of tea as locals rallied around to help.

A spokesperson for Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS) said one fire engine from Cinderford was sent to deal with the incident, during which Valley Road was closed to traffic.

They added: “The campervan was damaged by the fire and firefighters used two hose reels and two sets of breathing apparatus to put it out.” 

The stop time for the response was 11.01am, with the road reopening shortly afterwards. 

Conor posted pictures to the Cinderford Noticeboard Facebook page, with locals commenting messages of support for the owner.

One person said: “That's awful what a shame for him, glad he's safe but sorry he's lost his van.” 

Another expressed sympathy saying: “Poor man. Know how he feels. Mine went up in smoke in March. It’s heartbreaking.”