Nottingham

Blaze sends 'ball of flames' into sky over Nottingham

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Media captionResidents have been advised to keep doors and windows shut

A huge blaze sent a ball of orange flames into the sky over Nottingham, eyewitnesses have said.

The fire in Basford caused plumes of smoke to blow across the area, leading to hazardous driving conditions.

It broke out at a clothing and textile factory in High Church Street at about 07:10 BST.

Two teenagers, aged 16 and 17, have been arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life.

Updates on this story and more from Nottinghamshire

Police said 55 people were evacuated from nearby properties.

Image copyright Neil
Image caption The fire broke out at a clothing and textile factory
Image copyright Nottinghamshire Police
Image caption The building has been severely damaged by the fire

Jo Wooler-Ward, a group manager at Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, said fire crews have been unable to get inside the building because it is structurally unsafe, so they have been fighting the fire from the outside.

"Firefighting operations will continue for some time," she said.

'Challenges'

"We anticipate being here for the day and well into the evening as well until we are sure that the fire has been fully extinguished."

She said asbestos had been found inside the building.

"The direction of the wind has also presented some challenges to the fire-fighting operation," she added.

Image copyright Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue
Image caption Firefighters expect to be at the scene well into the evening
Image copyright Kayleigh Holder
Image caption Flames and smoke could be seen across the city

Several roads have been closed and the fire service advised people to avoid the area, which is close to the city centre.

Western Power Distribution said 25 properties in the area were left without power, but this has now been restored.

Jules Anderson, who lives three doors away from the factory, said she heard a sound like fireworks then went outside and saw flames.

"I immediately dashed back inside, called 999 and then I started banging on my neighbours' doors checking they were all right," she said.

She thinks her home is undamaged, but does not know how soon she and her husband will be able to return there.

Image copyright Shelley Hazel
Image caption The fire service said 55 people had been evacuated from the area

Graham Wass, a nearby garage owner, said he panicked when he heard about the fire as he thought it might be at his business.

"Now the concern is for if there's anybody in there," he said.

"As far as we do know they do screen printing on T-shirts and clothing, so I guess there's quite a lot of chemicals in there that's probably making things much worse for the fire guys."

Image copyright Natasha Taylor
Image caption The fire broke out at about 07:10

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