Chaos in Sheffield city centre as shop fire sends black smoke ‘pouring’ onto street

A fire at a tanning shop has caused major disruption to businesses and transport in Sheffield city centre.

Saturday, 17th July 2021, 5:46 pm

Six fire crews flooded High Street at about 3pm on Saturday in response to reports of a blaze on the second floor of Sunkiss Beauty & Tanning on Chapel Walk.

It is not currently known how the fire started and no one has been injured but several businesses on Chapel Walk were forced to shut due to smoke flooding the small street.

Caffe Nero and Paperchase on Fargate were also sealed off to customers as firefighters dealt with the ongoing incident.

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Several bus and tram routes have been disrupted after fire engines blocked the road - preventing access to Church Street and the Cathedral tram stop – and water from a standpipe on Fargate used to tackle the flames could be seen pouring down Chruch Street.

A South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue spokesperson told The Star the building was empty when crews arrived, having been called at 2.56pm.

As of 5pm, six crews were still at the scene ‘damping it down’ with the use of a fire ladder.

South Yorkshire fire & Rescue tweeted: “No one was hurt in the incident, but the building is very badly damaged.”

Fire crews remain at the scene.

Fargate and High Street remain shut.

Nick Burke, a Big Issue vendor based on Fargate who saw the fire, said: “Black smoke came out of the window at about 3.10pm, it was just pouring out.

"The fire engines were here within about five minutes.”

Another witness at the scene said: “We just saw flames coming out of the window. I didn’t see anyone [inside].”

Fire crews on Chapel Walk.

A staff member at Cards & Gifts on Chapel Walk said the store was left ‘stinking’ following the fire.

Smoke could be still seen coming from a second-floor window of the building where Sunkiss is housed after the fire had been extinguished.

Luis Martinez, who works at Stitch Express on Chapel Walk, said: “I just saw the firefighters coming in. The fire had already started.

"I saw smoke coming out of the window.”

Travel disruption also continues.

Stagecoach Supertram tweeted: “Tracks are now clear at Cathedral. Services are resuming. There will be delays and cancellations as we reform services.”

First South Yorkshire said bus routes serving Church Street have been diverted.