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Man held as fireworks warehouse blaze in Stafford leaves two people missing

A 53-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a blaze in a fireworks warehouse that left two people missing.

Staffordshire police said the two remain unaccounted for following the fire, which broke out at the industrial unit at about 5.15pm on Thursday.

Firefighters at SP fireworks factory in Stafford. Photograph: Richard Vernalls/PA

Firefighters at SP fireworks factory in Stafford. Photograph: Richard Vernalls/PA

The force said it was in contact with the missing people’s family members and that a joint fire investigation had been launched to find the cause of an initial explosion at the SP Fireworks building in Tilcon Avenue, Stafford.

Supt Ian Coxhead said: “We have a great deal of sensitive and challenging work to complete in order to allow us to establish the cause of the explosion and the following fire.” He added that a “significant volume of fireworks” was being stored on site, and the unit had been all but destroyed in the ensuing blaze.

At the height of the blaze, which broke out at 5.15pm and took three hours to bring under control, there were 50 firefighters, eight engines and four specialist appliances at the scene, the fire service said.

Photographs on Twitter and a video on YouTube showed fireworks shooting out of the building and thick plumes of black smoke. One resident, Brian Little, said: “The flames were sky-high. For 45 minutes to an hour it was horrendous and you could not help but watch it.”West Midlands ambulance service sent four ambulances, the hazardous area response team, four emergency doctors, five paramedic officers and two rapid response vehicles to the site.

Two men were taken to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire, one in his 60s suffering from a back injury, and one in his 40s, with serious burns. Two women, one in her 40s and the other in her 50s, were assessed for smoke inhalation but discharged at the scene, police said.

A safety cordon was put up around the factory, which had closed for the day by the time the fire broke out.

By Edos News

blaze fireworks held leaves Man missing People Stafford Two warehouse

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