A MASSIVE fire is raging at a Hotpoint factory tonight as witnesses report hearing explosions and locals have been warned of toxic fumes.
Dramatic footage of the inferno shows a huge plume of thick black smoke billowing over Peterborough after the fire broke out at the facility this afternoon.
Terrifying images show the smoke rising behind nearby houses.
Officials have described the ordeal as “big” and “serious”.
Local resident Jay Harrison-Crossley told Sun Online: “As soon as I heard the big explosions I jumped in my car and saw police and fire vehicles.
“Police were telling people to get off the streets as there was potential for further explosions.
“People were panicking after the series of big explosions were heard.
“I cut through one of the side roads to be able to see the smoke clearer but then as I got closer another big explosion happened.”
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Another local resident Simon Benton was near the explosion.
He told Sun Online: “It was apocalyptic. There was dust everywhere. Everyone was panicking in the streets and the loud bangs were heard for 20 minutes.
“The ground was shaking and there was debris and ash literally everywhere.”
He added: “Emergency crews are still at the scene and the air stinks after the fire broke out.
“There were about 10-20 explosions within the 20 minutes.”
It was apocalyptic. There was dust everywhere. Everyone was panicking in the streets and the loud bangs were heard for 20 minutes
Fire, ambulance and police teams are at the scene in Woodston, Peterborough.
One witness reported hearing explosions “every few seconds”.
‘PLUME OF BLACK SMOKE’
One person took to Twitter after seeing the blaze break out, writing: “Driving through #Peterborough hear a loud bang and now (standing next) to a field as it’s so smoky. Anyone know what’s going on.”
Another added: “Huge plume of black smoke over #Peterborough as seen from Castor.”
A third witness wrote: “Massive fire in Peterborough – could hear the bangs as if there’s explosions.”
A Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue spokeswoman told Cambridgeshire Live: “It’s big incident at Hotpoint warehouse, Shrewsbury Avenue in Peterborough.
“We’ve got lots of fire engines there and it is something serious.
“That’s all we know, for now.”
The fire service has tweeted: “A number of crews are dealing with a large fire on Shrewsbury Avenue, Peterborough.”
Peterborough Police tweeted: “We are currently on scene assisting Fire and Ambulance on Celta Road, Woodston at a large fire.
“Please assist us by keeping the area clear so our vehicles can get where they need to.
“There may be road closures as well, so please check for details.”
More to come…
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