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Residents spend night away from home after Oldbury fire

Sandwell | News | Published:

[gallery] Firefighters continued to battle a blaze at an Oldbury gin distillery today.

A 100 metre exclusion zone was still in place as crews fought smaller fires at Alcohols Ltd in Langley, with hundreds of residents forced to spend the night away from their homes.

Fireballs and plumes of smoke could be seen for miles, as up to 100 firefighters battled the blaze at its height yesterday

Roads were closed and dozens of people were told to leave their homes as the fire broke out at the site in Crosswells Road, Langley, just before 10am.

At least 50 properties were evacuated in Hall Street and Thompson Road.

One man was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham with severe burns, and West Midlands Ambulance Service had the air ambulance on standby in case of more emergencies as the blaze took hold.

Plumes of black smoke filled the skies across the borough as flames towering above rooftops were just feet away from properties on nearby Hall Street.

London Midland trains were halted due to smoke billowing across the lines. Services were suspended between Stourbridge and Snow Hill in Birmingham.

Residents spoke of hearing a loud bang at the factory and fleeing their homes, with some still wearing pyjamas and clutching family pets. Mother-of-two Neelam Dass, aged 37, said: "I heard a massive bang and I thought it was a car crash, but when I looked out the window I saw the flames. I ran out on to the street. It's just so scary."

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Tracey Benoist, 47, who lives next door to the factory, said: "I was watching Jeremy Kyle and I heard a massive bang. I opened the window and I saw the fire. I ran down the street."

The blaze also spread to engulf a Land Rover vehicle in Hall Street. The Environment Agency was also at the scene.

• Send your images of the fire to picturedesk@expressandstar.co.uk

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