Witney fire: Breakers' yard blaze sees homes evacuated

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Media captionResidents were told to stay indoors and keep windows and doors closed

A large fire involving scrap cars and fuel at a breakers' yard has led to homes being evacuated and roads closed.

Around 60 firefighters from Oxfordshire Fire & Rescue have been tackling the blaze at T&B Motors in Witney.

Plumes of "thick, black, acrid" smoke were visible over the town from about 10:00 BST.

Residents were advised by police to stay indoors and keep all windows and doors closed when the blaze was at its height.

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The fire service said it had brought the fire under control by 14:30 BST, but that crews would "remain at the scene for 24 hours for ongoing fire-fighting activities".

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Media captionPlumes of "thick, black, acrid" smoke are visible over Witney

The area will be closed overnight, deputy leader of West Oxfordshire District Council Toby Morris said.

He said emergency accommodation was being arranged for at least one resident.

A Thames Valley Police spokesman said there had been no injuries.

While West End has been completely closed off, Bridge Street and Wood Green have reopened.

Earlier, people asked to leave their homes were told to gather at Elmfield council offices.

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Media captionVehicles and fuel are on fire at the breakers' yard
Image copyright Lisa Kay
Image caption Smoke is visible over the town

Farmers Close resident Tony Pearce said: "It's thick, black, acrid smoke. Gas bottles, tyres, the petrol left in the cars, that's all going up.

"All the houses up here have been evacuated because of the flames."

A fire service spokesman said at one point 10 appliances were in attendance from Oxford, Witney, Burford, Wheatley, Deddington, Eynsham and Chipping Norton and multiple jets were in use.

"Because of the nature of the premises fuel is involved and there is a large plume of dark smoke," he added.

Image copyright WOCT Bus
Image caption A Thames Valley Police spokesman said West End was completely closed off
Image copyright ShootItYourself
Image caption Oxfordshire Fire & Rescue is tackling the blaze at T&B Motors

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