Smoke covers Smethwick as 50 firefighters tackle major garage blaze
Homes, factories and offices were evacuated as a huge blaze engulfed a garage in Smethwick today.
Plumes of smoke rose into the sky as around 50 firefighters tackled the blaze in Rolfe Street.
The fire was under control by mid afternoon but crews were expected to be at the scene until the early evening, taking water from the nearby canal to protect surrounding buildings after the garage roof collapsed.
The fire is not believed to have been started deliberately.
VIDEO: Dramatic footage shows the garage fire
Around 10 crews were fighting the blaze in the Doal Trading Estate, with the smoke from the blaze visible as far away as Edgbaston.
Numerous police officers and paramedics were also on the scene, although nobody was seriously injured.
Rolfe Street was closed for several hours and a half-mile cordon was in place around the street, which branches off Oldbury Road and Soho Way.
Gallery: Smoke pours from Smethwick fire
Industrial units, warehouses and factories on the trading estate were all told to shut due to asbestos, while there were fears that the blaze would spread to a fireworks wholesaler in one of the neighbouring units.
Nearby residents were warned to keep their doors and windows closed due to the amount of smoke and the risk of asbestos.
Meanwhile buses were diverted and drivers were warned to avoid the area.
Interactive map of the area:
Smoke from the fire rose high into the sky for several hours and could be seen at Edgbaston Cricket Ground, where it is the first day of the England v India test series.
Firefighters from across the Black Country were tackling the flames using a hydraulic platform and a high-volume pump, with every part of the garage affected by the blaze.
Handsworth station commander Paul Kitchen said: “Our fire investigation team is looking into the cause of the fire, but it remains unknown at this time. The business is severely damaged, with a partial roof collapse.
“One person was treated at the scene by West Midlands Ambulance Service for minor injuries, but was not taken to hospital.
“From our point of view, it has been a good stop – we have contained the fire to the business of origin, protecting surrounding businesses.”
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