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30 October 2014, 19:16
Five people have been treated by ambulance crews after a large blaze broke out at a fireworks factory in Stafford.
Police said emergency services were responding to ``an explosion'' and fire in Tilcon Avenue.
Worried local residents heard ``a loud bang'' and saw smoke coming from the factory at 5.15pm.
A safety cordon has been thrown up around the scene, which Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service described as ``an escalating fire''.
People in the Baswich area were warned to stay indoors with windows closed.
West Midlands Ambulance Service, which sent four ambulances, the Hazardous Area Response Team, four emergency doctors, five paramedic officers and two rapid response vehicles to the scene, has so far treated five people.
A spokesman said: ``Two patients are being taken to the major trauma centre at University Hospital North Staffordshire. One has burns, the other has smoke inhalation. Two further patients have been discharged on scene. A further patient has minor injuries.''
Thick plumes of black smoke could be seen in several photographs of the blaze posted online.
Onlooker Mike Hillman said he was watching from Tixall Road, adding ``massive fire, loads of smoke this way, hope everyone is OK''.
He tweeted: ``Hoping everyone is OK over there, looks like it has spread down the whole row of units on that side of the estate.''
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service rushed fire engines with specialist equipment and at least 25 firefighters to the scene along with specialist equipment when the alarm was raised.
A spokesman said eight appliances were helping to tackle the blaze.
``Large fire in industrial unit well alight. Trains running under caution near by. Stay indoors and keep windows shut,'' he said.