Huge blaze at SP Fireworks factory
An explosion at a fireworks retailer led to a huge blaze last night in Stafford leaving four injured and one person missing.
About 50 firefighters attended the incident at its height at the factory on Baswich Industrial Estate, owned by SP Fireworks, part of a larger family-run group which owns a number of other businesses.
Four people were injured by the fire and one person is missing, according to Staffordshire Police.
The fire service added they attended the incident after reports of a "large explosion" and smoke pouring from the factory.
Emergency crews were alerted to the fire at the Tilcon Avenue site of SP Fireworks at about 5pm.
At the height of the blaze there were eight engines and four specialist appliances crewed by 50 firefighters, Staffordshire Fire confirmed.
At the time of a statement by police last night Baswich Lane remained completely closed and a large cordon surrounded the location to protect the scene and to allow the emergency services to tackle the fire. The building had also sustained significant damage.
Supt Jane Hewett from Staffordshire Police said: "At this stage police and fire are working to establish the cause of the explosion, sadly we currently believe one person remains unaccounted for and police are working to support their family.
"We are currently arranging for a search of the scene tomorrow morning once the fire has been extinguished and the scene made safe.
"The cause of the explosion remains unclear at this point. Police are working to locate everyone who had been in the premises this afternoon and urge anyone with any information about those visiting SP Fireworks today to call Staffordshire Police on 101."
West Midlands Ambulance Service took two men to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire. One, who is in his 60s, has a back injury and was suffering from smoke inhalation. The other is a man in his 40s with serious burns.
Two women, one in her 40s, the other in her 50s, were assessed for smoke inhalation and discharged at scene.
Staffordshire Police will search the site today (31 October 2014).
SP Fireworks is part of the SP Group, which also runs Stafford Plastics, SP Plastics & Roofing Supplies, as well as renting out property.