Services which have burnt down
Cherwell Valley after it was burnt down.
Below is a list of motorway service areas which have been wholly or partially damaged by a fire. A major service area being damaged by a fire tends to be a big news event, and as a result many people get the impression that it's a common event.
Service areas are susceptible to fire damage: they have a lot of equipment crammed into old buildings that have been moved around many times, they are in use for long hours and they are often in isolated locations that take a long time to reach. It is noticeable that new or extended buildings tend to be more fire resistant.
As news reporting has improved and more service areas have opened, there is an illusion that the rate of fires has improved - we can only list known fires.
A number of A-road petrol stations, independent diners and chain restaurants such as Little Chef have also suffered fire damage. These aren't listing here.
|Fleet southbound||14/12/2016||Accidental - faulty coffee machine - KFC||Full reconstruction required, despite initial temporary re-opening. Temporary building used, full HGV and coach ban enforced; brief motorway closure required.|
|Frankley northbound||28/11/2015||Not publicised - restaurant||Both directions evacuated. Further details not known.|
|Cobham||17/04/2015||Accidental - KFC||Complete closure of the main amenities building for three days, some units closed for four months.|
|Birch eastbound||04/11/2011||Accidental - Fonebitz||Temporary entrance used, hotel evacuated.|
|Bolton West southbound||23/07/2010||Accidental - BP||No fuel for several days.|
|Cherwell Valley||15/04/2010||Accidental - store room||Full reconstruction required, two temporary buildings used until 2011.|
|Cherwell Valley||28/11/2008||Accidental - Travelodge||Hotel closed for several days.|
|Sedgemoor northbound||07/03/2008||Accidental - Burger King||None.|
|Sarn Park||06/03/2007||Accidental - cigarette - temporary building||Temporary building needed replacing.|
|Chester||August 2004||Accidental - kitchen||Building closed for the day.|
|Birch westbound||09/10/2003||Arson - games room||Full reconstruction required, temporary buildings used until late 2004.|
|Oxford||15/08/1998||Arson - toilets||None.|
|South Mimms||13/08/1998||Accidental - Julie's Pantry||Full reconstruction required, temporary buildings used.|
|Taunton Deane northbound||12/01/1994||Suspected arson - shop/restaurant||Temporary facilities used whilst repairs were made.|
|Membury westbound||25/09/1990||Accidental - electrical fault||Repairs were needed but postponed due to plans to widen the M4.|
|Newport Pagnell southbound||Autumn 1987||Unknown||It interrupted the CEEFAX Trial, suggesting the building was closed for several months.|
|Keele northbound||27/08/1984||Kitchen - on bridge||Whole bridge-building had to be rebuilt.|
|Heston westbound||28/05/1981||Accidental - electrical fault on roof||Full reconstruction required.|