Fire brigade called to incident just before midday

Workers had to be evacuated after a major fire broke out at a Sir Robert McAlpine high-rise building in Reading this morning.

Royal Berkshire fire and rescue service said it received reports of the blaze at just before midday today, later adding that it had since been put out.

In a statement a Sir Robert McAlpine spokesperson said: “We are thankful that everybody was evacuated to a place of safety and we are very grateful for the swift action taken by everyone on the site. We are working closely with the emergency services as they deal with the situation.”

Earlier, Berkshire fire and rescue said: “We are currently attending an incident on Napier Road, Reading. Please avoid the area to allow emergency services clear access to the scene. If you live in the surrounding area, please keep windows closed and stay indoors.”

It later corrected the location to Station Hill, where McAlpine has been carrying out work on a mixed-use scheme which has been split into two phases.

The fire service later confirmed the fire had been put out in an update at 2.40pm, although a number of crews remain on the scene.

The first phase of the project, One Station Hill, comprises 600 homes and according to McAlpine’s website is due to complete soon.

A second phase began work last spring with the overall £750m development for developer Lincoln MGT including 625,000 sq ft of office space, 1,300 private and affordable homes and 95,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space.