Probe after 'terrifying' fire guts Pontypridd car repair shop

  • Published
Media caption,

Explosion as fire engulfs Pontypridd vehicle repair shop

An investigation has started after a "terrifying" fire ripped through a vehicle repair shop in Pontypridd.

Thick black smoke was seen billowing and witnesses reported hearing explosions from the large blaze at a commercial property on Pentrebach Road on Wednesday evening.

Homes were evacuated in Pentrebach Road and Graig-Y-Helfa Road as a precaution.

John Paul Davies, who witnessed the fire, said it was "surreal...but terrifying at the time".

Pictures show a number of vehicles gutted by the blaze at the site.

Owner John Gwynne said he was devastated by what had happened.

Image caption,
Smoke could be seen billowing from miles away

Mr Davies said he saw "thick, black smoke" coming from the site, and there was an unpleasant smell in the air.

"There was debris coming from the smoke itself, hot ash kept landing on me - I've got a hole in my t-shirt," he told BBC Radio Wales.

"It was very surreal, not something you would see every day but terrifying at the time.

"It was a nastier smell than rubber, the smell can't be explained but it wasn't very pleasant, let's put it that way."

Crews from Pontypridd, Caerphilly, Whitchurch and Abercynon attended the blaze.

The last fire engine left the scene at 04:00 BST on Thursday morning.

Image caption,
The devastation left behind by the fire at the industrial estate on Pentrebach Road in Pontypridd
Image caption,
The A4054 road was closed both ways and thick black smoke can be seen for miles. Nearby residents were also advised to close their windows.
Image caption,
South Wales Fire and Rescue Service crews were able to leave the scene in the early hours of Thursday morning.