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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Firefighters tackle blaze at commercial building

04/09/2013

Firefighters are continuing to tackle a blaze which broke out at a commercial building in the early hours of this morning.

"This fire broke out in the early hours of the morning and, because a number of cylinders exploded within the building, it was decided that premises close to the site should be evacuated. We have allowed residents to return to their homes to pick up some belongings but we need to assess the potential risk of further explosion of cylinders before anyone will be allowed to move back home permanently."

Station Manager Simon Craythorn

At the height of the fire, six fire engines, two aerial ladder platforms, a water carrier, command support vehicle and damage limitation unit were in use.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service was alerted to the incident at Astra Price on Eastward Road in Hanley at 2.57am.

An investigation into the cause of the fire was underway this morning.

Station Manager Simon Craythorn said: "This fire broke out in the early hours of the morning and, because a number of cylinders exploded within the building, it was decided that premises close to the site should be evacuated. We have allowed residents to return to their homes to pick up some belongings but we need to assess the potential risk of further explosion of cylinders before anyone will be allowed to move back home permanently.

"The building is unstable and access is difficult which makes it more challenging to extinguish the blaze so we fully expect to be on site for the rest of the day.

"The impact on the building – and therefore on the business - could have been lessened if a sprinkler system had been in place, reducing the spread of the fire and extinguishing the flames. We are keen to encourage all businesses to install what is potentially life-saving equipment."

For more information about sprinkler systems visit www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/