Fifty firefighters tackled a blaze involving several tons of scrap metal and a gas cylinder explosion at a scrapyard in Wolverhampton.
Crews battled to stop the fire spreading to a nearby warehouse and residents were warned to stay inside and keep their windows closed at the height of the blaze.
The fire broke out in a mound of scrap at Fletchers Metals at Chillington Industrial Estate in East Park.
Thick black smoke was seen billowing into the air from the yard in Hickman Avenue, which was cordoned off.
Firefighters worked into the early hours of the morning putting out the flames.
Investigators say the blaze was accidental. Group commander Rory Campbell, from West Midlands Fire Service’s headquarters, said: “There was a severe fire involving several tonnes of scrap metal.
Firefighters damp down at the scene. Video: Alan Evans.
“We had problems to overcome with the shortage of water pressure from the mains. We asked Severn Trent Water to boost the water pressure.
“In the early stages, the fire was quite spectacular.
“We know at least one gas cylinder flew 25 metres into the air.
“Luckily the owner was there and helped by operating machinery to lift the rubble up so we could fight it more aggressively.
“We managed to stop the fire spreading to a warehouse nearby.” Shane Fletcher, of Albrighton, who owns the company, dialled 999 after the fire broke out.
“It broke out in a large pile of scrap which somehow went on fire,” he said.
“We don’t know exactly how it happened but fire investigators looked at CCTV and are satisfied it was an accident.
“It didn’t spread to any buildings so thankfully it was contained just to the scrap pile.”
Staff from the company, which has been at Chillington Industrial Estate for around a year, were there yesterday to help clean up.
But Mr Fletcher said it was ‘business as usual’.
The fire started at around 5pm on Saturday.