Seven crews were called to Central Laundry on Nicholson Way, Shobnall in Burton-on-Trent just before 6.30pm last night following a large chemical spillage.
"We would like to let members of the public in Burton know that the mixed chemicals pose no risk to them."
Paul Cullen, Assistant Area Commander for East Staffordshire
Crews from Burton, Barton-Under-Needwood, Chase Terrace, Lichfield and the Damage Limitation Unit from Hanley attended the scene, where several types of peroxides, acids and alkalines were thought to have been deliberately mixed together.
The chemicals had spilled out into Central Laundry’s yard, the nearby road, footpaths and approximately 3,000 litres had seeped down into the drains.
Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus and gas tight suits began the clean up process to ensure the road and footpaths were clean. Eight Central Laundry personnel were also evacuated and received medical treatment from paramedics at the scene.
Paul Cullen, Assistant Area Commander for East Staffordshire said: "When we arrived on scene, we immediately cordoned off the affected areas and began a thorough clean up process.
"The chemicals were mixing together and releasing hydrogen gas, which is extremely flammable, so we used gas monitors to ensure the gas had evaporated before leaving the scene, as our main priority was to make certain there was no risk to the public.
"We would like to let members of the public in Burton know that the mixed chemicals pose no risk to them.
"Some people may be able to smell a perfume or bleach type of aroma coming from some drains but this is not dangerous, it is the smell a fabric softener which was one of the chemicals released, so please do not worry if you smell something coming from any of the surrounding drains."
There will be a police investigation into the incident to determine how the chemicals came to be mixed together and released. If anyone has any information about the incident, they are urged to contact Staffordshire Police on 0300 123 4455.