UPDATE (Friday 17th, 1pm): Fire confirmed by Fire Service as having been started deliberately.
Fire officers are looking into the causes of the fire that broke out on Wednesday night (15th August) on Blythe Park Business Base here in Draycott in the Moors.
A local resident, who saw the light of the fires shortly after 9pm, was able to take these photos at the scene and transfer them to this website. In the glow of the fire you can see the fire officers, in high visibility jackets, attempting to douse the flames.
See map of the area where the fire broke out.
Another local resident told us that the plume of dark smoke that reached into the night sky was huge, and caused even householders at the eastern end of Cresswell Old Lane, half a mile away, to have to shut their windows because of the acrid particles and smell.
He told us that it seemed the the Fire Service were unable to put out the fire for some time, and had to use a high-pressure pump to take some water from the nearby River Blithe.
The fire was still going at midnight; after finally damping it down, fire officers returned in the morning (16th August).
In the darkness, it wasn’t clear what had happened, but another resident who had been on the scene earlier said the fire centred on what looked to be a large pile of rubbish at the further end of the park. The pile semed to include rubber materials.
A spokesperson for the Fire Service told us today: “The fire involved a bonfire, approx. 20m by 20m in size, that was deliberately started”.
Whether the fire was set as an attempt to clear old rubbish or as having a more arsonist intent is not yet clear.
The latest updates on the incident can be found on the Staffordshire Fire Service website news pages.
The Blythe Park Business Base on Sandon Lane (Cresswell) is the former site of the Blythe Colours Works owned by the Johnson Matthey chemicals company.
The site is now home to some fifty companies, in a number of industrial units, who specialise in businesses from engineering to paint manufacturing.
If you have any information you can add, please contact Staffordshire Crimestoppers (you can make a comment anonymously if you wish), or phone Staffordshire Fire Service (08451 221155) or leave a thought in the Comments Box below.