Shropshire Star

Pictures and video: Huge blaze at Telford timber yard being treated as an accident

[gallery] A huge fire that engulfed Tafs timber yard in Telford is being treated as an accident says the fire service.


The blaze at Tafs Garden Co in St Georges broke out at about 9.20pm on Tuesday.

Today Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Malcolm Stevenson said: "The investigations to determine the cause of the fire are well underway at the moment. At this stage the cause of the fire is pointing towards an accident but investigations are still taking place."

Video from the blaze:

  • See more video footage here

Smoke and flames were visible all over St Georges, and Gower Street - where the yard is based - was closed and a 200-metre cordon was set up around the site while firefighters fought to bring the blaze, which involved a large quantity of wood and embers, under control.

A hazardous materials team was also sent to the scene due to fears of acetylene cylinders being involved in the fire. It is not yet known what caused the blaze.

At 6am on Wednesday three fire engines were still at the scene. A Shropshire Fire & Rescue Service spokesman said good progress still being made, with a ground monitor still in use and covering acetylene cylinders and temperature checks being carried out every 20 minutes. Site machinery was being used to break down timber stacks to help damp down the area. Fire investigation officers were due on scene this morning.

Scores of residents took to the streets last night as the flames cast an orange glow over nearby housing estates.

They were later told by firefighters to stay indoors and keep windows closed due to the amount of smoke generated by the fire.

Steven Womersley, who lives on Bulrush Glade, shared pictures of the scene on Twitter.

He said: "There is about 100ft of ash and embers, heavy smoke and fire service in attendance."

Margaret Parry, who lives on Lark Rise, said: "I went upstairs and I could see the flames from our window."

Tweets from the scene:

Fire crews used eight main jets in a bid to extinguish the blaze.

Fire crews from Albrighton, Newport, Shrewsbury, Telford, Telford Central, Tweedale, Wellington and Wem were sent to the scene.

Police officers were also in attendance to manage the road closure and to divert traffic away from the area.

A spokesman for West Mercia Police said officers were at the scene directing traffic.

At 11.19pm yesterday Shropshire Fire & Rescue tweeted:

Tweets from the scene:

The builders yard is on the main road through St Georges, heading through the town towards Donnington.

The main Tafs garden centre in Donnington was not affected and was set to open as usual on Wednesday.

Paul Roberts, spokesman for West Mercia Police said: "We were alerted by the fire service to a building fire in the Gower Street area of St Georges shortly before 10pm.

"Officers attended and Gower Street was closed at Kinver road about at about 10.30pm.

"Investigations are still ongoing."

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