Fire investigators are examining the cause of a massive blaze at an aerosol factory near Pocklington.
Fire crews have left the scene of the fire at LMA Chemicals Limited at Pocklington Industrial Estate where the blaze broke out just before 5pm yesterday leading to a series of explosions.
A spokesman for Humberside Fire and Rescue Service said a fire investigations officer was at the scene as well as a representative from the Environment Agency checking for contamination in run-off which may have entered local watercourses.
It would be harder to nail down a cause he said because “there’s not a lot left of the building, the warehouse.”
He said: “We had a crew overnight to make sure the odd hot spot wasn’t going to reignite .
“We are into the investigation phase now, working with the company to ascertain what was stored where, who was working where and possible causes.
“We are on scene with a hazardous materials officers who is liaising with the Environment Agency.
“Tens of thousands of litres of water have gone on in the past 18 to 19 hours that went somewhere.
“There were liquids and aerosols and gas, all sorts of potentially hazardous stuff.
“(We are looking at) how has that affected local ditches and watercourses, and how can we minimise the impact - that’s where the Environment Agency is involved.”
Witnesses, including workers at a nearby factory, described hearing “popping” noises before seeing flames coming from the building.
Simon Townsend, 14, said he was at a nearby skatepark with friends.
“We heard a massive bang and my mate Joe said it was the fireworks place,” he said.
“We walked through first and saw it all happening – I’m just nosy.
“The lass I was with was crying because her uncle works in the estate – loads of people have friends who work there too.”
Vicky Mciver, 47, is managing director of Power Health Products, which employs 60 people nearby.
“I could hear some banging. “I looked out of the window and could see a massive fire coming from a building,” she said.
“It looked like there were wheel rims popping up in the air.
“Someone else came upstairs and we just thought let’s get out of the building.
“Our business has been going for 44 years. Luckily our building has not been touched [by flames]
“Sometimes, in the hot weather, we hear popping.”
More than 50 firefighters were at the scene at one stage, with two aerial appliances and a high volume pump in use.
A water carrier was sent by North Yorkshire Fire service to help with the response and crews from the Yorkshire Ambulance Hazardous Area Response Team were also in attendance.
No-one is reported to have been injured.
There were also concerns that the fire could spread to nearby buildings.
Louise Mciver’s parents own Power Health Products, which is adjacent to LMA Chemicals.
“We came down straight away,” she said. “My sister is the managing director. “She heard some popping and explosions and looked out and saw it, so she rang the fire service. They took ages to get here.
“The fire isn’t touching our building at the moment, but we do have some chemicals in the building.”
Louise’s brother, Nick Mciver, 49, added: “It’s a chemical company so that’s why it’s been so spectacular.
“We saw it on live streaming and thought it was coming from the roof of our building.”
Mr Mciver said he had been worried because his business stocks flammable chemicals.
Plumes of smoke could be seen for miles around, and the fire service was advising people in the area to stay indoors and keep windows closed as a precaution.
The A1079 was closed in both directions between Lotting’s Lane and The Balk for safety reasons, but has now reopened.
Meanwhile, Yorkshire Water warned people in the YO42 postcode that their water supplied might be affected.
It tweeted: “#Y042 #Pocklington Sorry, you may have no water/low pressure due to fire service use of hydrants in the area. Will update when complete.”
Dozens of people have shared videos and pictures on Twitter since the fire started.
Gurdev Singh said: “Huge fire and explosions Halifax Way Pocklington Ind Est”
Grandadshed said: “Oh dear think there’s something on fire on the Pocklington Industrial Estate - Power Health we think!!!”
Emily Kirkland said: “1079 solid, fire on Industrial estate #Pocklington town very busy. Shut Windows, poss aerosol factory gone up!”
Aerosol manufacturer LMA was founded in 1983 and manufacture products for the automotive, industrial, paints, janitorial and veterinary sectors.