Wolverhampton factory fire sends flames and thick smoke into sky - PICTURES and VIDEO

Businesses have been left counting the cost after a huge fire ripped through a factory unit in Wolverhampton.

Flames burst from the factory. Picture: Damien Martin
Flames burst from the factory. Picture: Damien Martin

Flames burst out from the roof of the site sending smoke billowing into the night sky over Heath Town.

People were told to keep windows and doors closed as acrid smoke blew across high-rise flats and homes.

The aftermath of the fire with debris scattered
Fire crews assessing the structure of the buildings as they work with businesses

Christmas decorations were being stored inside the factory unit which was split up into four separate spaces.

Up to 60 firefighters tackled the blaze at its height successfully managing to stop the spread of flames to two neighbouring units.

They also worked to ensure flames did not envelop nearby cars parked up at a motor workshop.

Crews were called to the factory in Alma Street, near Inkerman Street, at 9.40pm on Monday.

Thick smoke overhead as the blaze took hold. Picture: Damien Martin

With the scale of the blaze escalating, more crews were called in from across the Midlands.

These included firefighters on a hydraulic platform which allowed them to fight the flames from above.

The huge fire in Alma Street, Heath Town. Picture: Damien Martin

Bystanders were told to move away from the scene as a cordon was set up due to the ferocity of the flames.

Video courtesy of @snappersk

Trains were stopped on a railway line which runs adjacent to the business site due to concerns over billowing smoke.

Services were delayed before trains were forced to move back away from the site. The line was later reopened.

The intensity of the fire led to the collapse of the roof and structural walls inside the unit.

Group commander Nigel Sowden, of West Midlands Fire Service, said crews had the support of other emergency services and agencies.

"I'm very pleased with how the fire was tackled," he said.

"They dealt with a rapidly developing incident with firefighters quickly on the scene.

"It was dealt with through assertive, safe and effective firefighting which stopped the fire spreading to two other industrial units."

Water was pumped from a nearby canal to help quell the flames after teams held discussions with the Canal and River Trust and Environment Agency officials.

A meeting was due to be held today with the business owners and traders from other firms on the site.

Electricity and gas supplies had been cut off in the wake of the blaze and officials were working on them being re-installed as soon as possible.

A fire investigation team was looking into the cause of the blaze.

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