Stoke & Staffordshire

Coaches destroyed in Tamworth garage blaze

Vehicles damaged by fire Image copyright Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption Smoke from the fire could be seen from miles away

A total of 10 coaches have been destroyed in a blaze at a garage, the fire service has said.

Six crews tackled the fire at Lichfield Road Industrial Estate in Tamworth, on Saturday.

Solus Coaches said its vehicles were involved but it was "business as usual" and none of its bookings had been hit.

Rob Horton, of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said the cause appeared to be accidental but investigations were continuing.

No-one was injured, he said.

Image caption Solus Coaches said other firms had offered to help cover its bookings

Solus Coaches has contracts with Staffordshire and Warwickshire County Councils taking pupils to school and swimming.

It is also part of the transport network for colleges and academies, and carries Tamworth Football Club players and supporters, as well as sponsoring the team.

Crews from both West Midlands and Staffordshire fire services were called to the scene at 13:30 GMT and the fire was "brought under control within two hours," Mr Horton said.

However, 10 coaches "fully involved" in the fire were destroyed.

"The vehicles were close together, about a foot apart, so the fire quickly spread to involve three or four coaches," Mr Horton added.

"But people managed to move about 12 vehicles, including five coaches which saved them and created a fire break."

An adjacent building was also severely damaged in places.

CCTV footage examined at the site did not show anyone at the scene ahead of the fire so it was "not looking like a deliberate fire" but investigations were ongoing, Mr Horton said.

The smoke plume from the blaze could be seen for miles and people were urged to avoid the area.

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