A worker who appeared to be trapped on a tall burning building in Reading was lifted to safety by a crane.

Two people have been taken to hospital and were treated for smoke inhalation following the breakout of a large fire at the Station Hill development site in the Berkshire town on Thursday morning (November 23). A video circulating shows a person trapped on the roof being lifted to safety by a crane.

After the man was taken to safety, crowds in the background could be heard breaking out in applause. Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service said it received reports of the blaze near Napier Road at 11.38am.

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In a statement, it said: "A number of our crews are currently on the scene. While emergency services work, we ask that people avoid the area where possible and close windows and doors if you live or work nearby.”

A South Central Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “I can confirm we’ve taken two people to the Royal Berkshire Hospital for further assessment and treatment for smoke inhalation, neither of whom were severe cases. We are now on stand-by supporting the fire service (which is a standard operational procedure when they are working at height and at scale).

“We have our hazardous area response team, an ambulance, the Thames Valley Air Ambulance critical care car, an operational commander, a tactical adviser and a tactical commander at the scene.”

Redwood Consulting, on behalf of Station Hill, said: “We activated our fire emergency plans immediately, the emergency services were notified and are currently on site. The safety of those on site and the wider public is always our first priority, and the site has been evacuated as a result.”

Thames Valley Police officers are at the scene and road closures are in place from Forbury roundabout to Forbury Road, Friar Street and Friar West. The force added: “We are working to allow access for residents to premises that have not been affected by the fire, and to the hotels.

“If you live in the surrounding area, please keep windows closed and stay indoors.”