Stoke & Staffordshire

Stafford Global Hygiene warehouse blaze 'under control'

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Media captionThe Express & Star newspaper captured the moment of an explosion at the factory fire in Stafford

A huge warehouse blaze in Stafford is now fully under control, the fire service says.

More than 60 firefighters battled the blaze at the property run by Global Hygiene, an industrial cleaning supply firm, on Astonfields Industrial Estate.

Children evacuated from two nearby primary schools are back in class and neighbours have returned home after the fire caused explosions on Wednesday.

The cause is being investigated, Staffordshire Fire Service said.

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Image copyright Kaylaa Hall
Image caption The blackened remains of the industrial buildings destroyed in the huge fire

One man working at Global Hygiene suffered minor burns to his hands but there were no other casualties, West Midlands Ambulance Service said.

Drummond Road has now reopened at the junction with Astonfields Road.

St Patrick's Catholic Primary and Nursery School and John Wheeldon Primary School, which both closed early due to smoke and fumes, are open.

Image copyright Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption Corrugated industrial units collapsed in the huge fire

Glynn Luznyj, from West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service, said the blaze had burned for hours due to flammable substances on site.

"A ruptured gas main into the building was fuelling the fire... there was 40,000 litres of mixed oil contained in the building which was feeding the fire."

Emergency crews were able to contain the fire by Wednesday afternoon, after it was first reported by staff at about 08:45 GMT.

Only two people needed emergency accommodation from Staffordshire County Council.

Image caption Smoke was rising from the site of the fire

Jill Hewkin, who stayed at her daughter's house in Wolverhampton, said: "I was at work... and I got a call saying there was a big explosion and I needed to get back.

"As I was driving I could see the smoke for miles and the closer I got the thicker and blacker it was.

"I started to panic because it is literally a stone's throw from my door. It was horrific."

The fire service said it had scaled back the response to two crews as the site was still smouldering.

Image copyright Ed Jephcott
Image caption A ball of flames could be seen billowing into the air

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