Evacuations after fireworks blaze in Rochford in Essex

A care home and other buildings had to be evacuated after a blaze started in a container full of fireworks on a nearby industrial estate in Essex.

Fire crews were called to Purdeys Industrial Estate, Rochford, at about 22:30 BST on Saturday after a motion sensor in the container was activated.

Explosions were reported and the fire continued into Sunday.

A 400m exclusion was set up and a no-fly zone brought in at the site, where 1.5 tonnes of fireworks were stored.

Senior Divisional Officer Matt Furber, of Essex Fire and Rescue Service, said at about 09:00 BST: "Residents are likely to be evacuated from their homes for the next six hours as a precaution, as fire crews deal with the incident.

No casualties

"Essex County Fire and Rescue Service are aware of the significant impact on the local area and are minimising it as much as possible.

"The fireworks stored in the container are the domestic type and they have been exploding inside the container. Fire crews are dousing the container with water.

"The fire service has been working with the owner of the fireworks who has been providing the Service with the relevant information so that crews knew what they were dealing with.

"Fire crews are protecting all the surrounding risks neighbouring the incident, such as The Factory Store, which is being protected by water monitors. There are no reported casualties at the incident."

He thanked the nearby Ann Boleyn pub which helped provide support for people who had to leave the care home and nearby cottages.

Crews were expected to remain at the site throughout the day.

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