Cannock fire: Police lead evacuation as chemicals explode in ball of flames

Residents were evacuated by police amid explosions as a “large amount of chemicals” go up in flames at an industrial estate.

The alarm was raised at the Cannock Industrial Centre earlier this morning with people warned to stay away for their own safety.

People living nearby the industrial estate shared videos of the large fire, with some claiming they heard fireworks exploding at the estate as others claimed they saw “fireballs”.

However a spokesman for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) earlier confirmed the blaze involved a “large amount of chemicals.”

She said: “The incident involves a large amount of chemicals on fire, some of which have exploded.

“Police are evacuating local people.”

Experts told Birmingham Live the large blaze could have been started by the weather after a night of torrential rain and lightning.

Eight crews are currently on site as the chemicals continue to burn.

SFRS added on its social channels: “Over 40 firefighters attended a large fire outside a chemical storage unit on Walkmill Lane, Cannock, this morning.

“Four main jets and six breathing apparatus were used to bring the fire under control, which has been deemed accidental.

“By 8.20am, the incident was scaled down, leaving crews from Rugeley and Stafford at the scene.”

Station Manager Jordan Money, who attended the incident, said: “Crews have worked diligently to bring this fire under control and mitigate damage in the area.

“Although nearby residents can now return to their homes, we are still advising them to keep windows and doors shut whilst our crews remain at the scene and ensure the area is safe.”

Several people woke up to the explosions at the industrial park, with several taking to social media.

One said: “Fire at industrial unit off Walkmill Lane, Cannock – reports it’s a chemical plant but unconfirmed.”

Another made light of the situation as they shared a picture of the fire and joked: “Well somethings gone with a bang near Cannock.”

Another added: “It definitely sounded like fireworks!

“I live close to the firework factory and thought it was that at first, but the smokes over B&Q way. It’s woken half of Cannock up I think.”

Residents have been urged to stay away from the area for the time being as the fire continues to burn.

A spokesman for West Midlands Ambulance Service said: “We were called at 6.32am to reports of a fire off Walkmill Lane, Cannock.

“We sent two paramedic officers and the Hazardous Area Response Team to the scene.

“However, there were no patients which required ambulance assistance and we were stood down from the scene.”