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Investigations continue into fireworks factory fire

Investigations are continuing into the cause of a fatal fire at a fireworks factory in Stafford.

The bodies of two men were found in the wreckage of the warehouse by emergency service today. A third man remains in a critical condition in hospital following the blaze on Thursday.

A 53-year-old man arrested in connection with the fire has been released with no further action and is now being treated as a witness.

ITV News' Midlands reporter Ben Chapman reports:

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Man in critical condition after fireworks factory blaze

A man remains in a critical condition in hospital following a fireworks factory blaze which claimed the lives of two men.

The man suffered serious burns in the blaze at SP Fireworks in Stafford. A second man who was taken to hospital is now recovering at home, Staffordshire Police said.

It comes as the force confirmed the bodies of two men were discovered in the wreckage of the blaze today.

Supt Ian Coxhead, from Staffordshire Police, said: “This is a tragic development in a rare and challenging incident, our sympathies go out to the families of those who have sadly lost their lives."

Officers remain at the scene of the blaze, which will remain cordoned off while work to establish the cause of the fire continues, a force spokesman said.

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Stafford fireworks fire: two bodies found

Two other people are still in hospital after the fire at a fireworks factory in Stafford Credit: Caters News

Two bodies have been found in the wreckage of a fire at a fireworks factory in Stafford, police have said.

Their families have been informed.

A 53-year-old man arrested in connection with the fire at SP Fireworks on Tilcon Avenue in Stafford on Thursday has been released and is now being treated as a witness.

One other person is said to be in a critical condition in hospital. Another is now recovering at home

It is still not known what caused the fire.

This is a tragic development in a rare and challenging incident, our sympathies go out to the families of those who have sadly lost their lives...

Our searches of the building will continue over the weekend as we work to establish the cause of the fire but it will take some time due to the unstable structure of the building and dangerous environment we’re working in....

Residents and businesses are thanked for their understanding and patience. We will work as quickly as we can to get Tilcon Avenue back to normality and will keep the affected community updated.

– Supt Ian Coxhead, from Staffordshire Police
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Fireworks factory 'met all safety checks'

A factory which was hit by a blaze met all safety requirements for the storage of fireworks, the local council has said.

SP Fireworks in Stafford had been registered to sell fireworks for the last four years during which there had been no safety issues, Staffordshire County Council said.

Trading standards inspected the premises on Tilcon Avenue last month and it met all safety requirements for the storage of fireworks.

A 53-year-old has been arrested in connection with the blaze, the cause of which is still being investigated. Two people remain unaccounted for while two men were taken to hospital.

Aerial pictures of wrecked Stafford fireworks factory

Two people are missing and two were hospitalised after a major explosion and fire at a factory in Stafford Credit: Caters News
Two people are missing and two were hospitalised after a major explosion and fire at a factory in Stafford Credit: Caters News
Two people are missing and two were hospitalised after a major explosion and fire at a factory in Stafford Credit: Caters News
Two people are missing and two were hospitalised after a major explosion and fire at a factory in Stafford Credit: Caters News

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Fireworks storage area 'completely destroyed'

The factory's entire the entire storage unit has been destroyed by last night's explosion Credit: Staffordshire Police

The investigation into a fire at a fireworks factory in Stafford is 'challenging' because the entire storage unit has been destroyed by the explosion, according to police.

Firefighters and police officers are spending the day recovering any potential evidence from the area around SP Fireworks on Tilcon Avenue.

Last night, two people were hospitalised when a major fire ripped through the factory premises. One victim is in a stable condition, but the other is more seriously hurt.

Police have said they are hoping to reopen Tilcon Avenue to those businesses who have premises on the road and to drivers who need to move their cars in the coming hours.

Baswich Lane has reopened to traffic, but drivers there are experiencing serious delays because of investigation work being carried out by emergency services.

"We have a great deal of sensitive and challenging work to complete in order to allow us to establish the cause of the explosion and following fire.

"We understand the unit was storing a significant volume of fireworks which appear to have been completely destroyed during the blaze last night.

"This makes the ongoing examination of the scene particularly challenging and we expect to be at the scene for some time. We can confirm a 53-year-old male has been arrested in connection with the incident.

“One of people taken to hospital last night is in a poorly condition, whilst the second is stable after receiving treatment.

– Supt Ian Coxhead, from Staffordshire Police
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