Apos;Fire Raining From The Sky apos;: Flames Tower Over Suburban Street After Diesel Tank Explosion

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'Fire raining from the sky': Flames tower over suburban street after diesel tank explosion By [/home/search.html?s=&authornamef=Daily+Mail+Reporter Daily Mail Reporter]
Updated: 15:28 BST, 1 April 2011

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comments] adverts.addToArray("pos":"leader_wide")Advertisement Two men treated for momcheap.hpage.com minor injures after Thursday evening blast'I really thought we were all going to die,' said onlooker
Firefighters and police forced dozens of people out of their homes last night, as a fire at a transport depot, believed to have been caused when a diesel tank exploded, towered over a suburban street.

Thirty firefighters - especially called in from the surrounding boroughs - battled with the blaze, which started in Featherstone last night at about 5pm, and two people were being treated for minor injuries.

They managed to save two houses close to the Welburn Transport depot from catching fire.

Some 62 properties within 200 metres of the blaze were evacuated - and residents have been told will not be allowed to return to their homes until later this evening at the very earliest.

Inferno: The diesel explosion in Feathestone towered above houses while dozens of people were evacuated

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Some 62 houses within a 200 metre radius of the blast were forced to be evacuated

And an exclusion zone has been enforced and remains in place around the area. In addition three roads have been shut off, and are expected not to be opened until tonight.

A West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said that one person had sustained burns and another was suffering from smoke inhalation when acetylene gas cylinders exploded.

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One onlooker said: 'A 450-litre tank of diesel fuel exploded sending a fire ball hundreds of metres in to the air of burning diesel fuel.

Blaze: Local residents were told they would probably not be allowed back into their houses until Friday night at least
Safety first: Police and firefighters monitor the scene after the fire began on Thursday afternoon
Concern: A fireman calms a local resident who has been evacuated from her house

'It was just fire raning down from the sky, the people - mainly residents in the process of evacuating - were screaming and running from the heat as the fuel began to fall.

The heat was unbearable I really thought we were all going to die.'

Rachael Smith, a local resident, told the BBC: 'There were mini explosions, and big explosions.

'There were massive flames, black billowing smoke over the church, white smoke and some bangs.

'It was horrendous.'

A statement from West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said: 'Firefighters from Featherstone, Pontefract, Castleford and Knottingley were called to the commercial garage in Church Lane at 5.17pm yesterday (31 March).

'At its height more than 30 firefighters tackled the blaze, saving nine nearby buildings (two of which backed on to the workshop).

'Two men who suffered minor injuries were taken to hospital.

One suffered smoke inhalation and the other suffered flash burns.

'West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service fire investigation officers are currently working with West Yorkshire Police to establish a cause.'

Workers will have to wait until tonight - or tomorrow morning - to determine how it was started, as the cylinders have not yet cooled to a manageable level, a spokesman told MailOnline.

Station Manager Stephen Fealy, who was incident commander in the early stages of the incident, said: 'We would like to thank the evacuated residents for their co-operation in what was a very challenging incident.

'We understand it caused enormous inconvenience, but in cases like this public safety is our priority.

'Thanks to the swift response and quick-thinking of firefighters we were able to ensure the fire did not spread to nearby buildings.'