Homes evacuated as firefighters tackle huge blaze at industrial unit

More than 40 homes have been evacuated after a huge blaze broke out at an industrial unit in Bristol.

Families have been offered refuge at a nearby church after being forced to leave their houses on Friday night as the fire raged at the Strachan and Henshaw building in Speedwell.

Images and video on social media showed flames and huge plumes of black smoke billowing from the site, while residents reported hearing explosions.

Avon Fire and Rescue Service said crews were likely to be tackling the blaze through the night, having been called at about 6.20pm.

A total of 44 nearby properties were evacuated, police said, and other residents were urged to keep their windows and doors shut.

Several roads in the area were also closed.

Chief fire officer at Avon Fire and Rescue, Mick Crennell, said on Twitter that crews were working “very hard in challenging circumstances to keep our communities safe” and described it as a “major incident”.

Kerry McCarthy, Labour MP for Bristol East, said: “Very concerned to see news from Speedwell. Hope everyone is safe, including firefighters from @AvonFireRescue”.

The cause of the fire is not yet known and there are no reports of any injuries.

Firefighters also tackled a blaze at the Strachan and Henshaw building, on Foundry Lane, on New Year’s Eve.

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