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Derbyshire Fire and Rescue service has advised people living near the factory fire in Belper that it is safe to open their windows following fears over fumes:
Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service has reportedly begun an investigation with police into the cause of a fire that caused extensive damage at a former chocolate factory in Belper:
A spokesman told the Derby Telegraph:
– Gavin Tomlinson, area manager, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service
All we know is there has been an explosion in the building.
We think it has been caused by a gas cylinder. At this point, we are waiting for an investigation unit to turn up to determine whether it was arson.
These investigations will be carried out in conjuction with the police. No-one has been injured but the building is 100% damaged.
The chairman of Derbyshire County Cricket Club said that his team's game against Lancashire had to be called off as a result of the fire.
He gave this account to the Derby Telegraph:
– chris grant, chairman, Derbyshire County Cricket Club
I was watching the game when I spotted the fire and it became clear the building had exploded.
I ensured all of the players and the umpires got off the pitch straight away and got back inside.
All of a sudden people started to move their cars very quickly, in case it started to get worse ...
Derbyshire Fire and Rescue received a number of calls around 3.30pm today after reports of an explosion at a disused Thornton's factory in Belper.
People were reported to be inside the building at the time of the explosion but everyone is accounted for.
Fire crews are now damping down and the fire is under control.
There are no immediate reports of injuries relating to the explosions and fire in Belper, the Derby Telegraph reports citing local emergency services.
It also reported that people in the area are being advised to stay indoors to avoid breathing the air around the factory.
Emergency services dealing with a fire at a disused factory in Belper are advising people to stay away from the Derwent Street area.
Police and the fire service were contacted at around 3.30pm following reports of an explosion and fire at the former Thornton’s factory on Derwent Street.
– Derbyshire Constabulary
The fire was put out by fire fighters by 4.40pm but Derwent Street remains closed and there are significant traffic problems in the area.
Emergency services are concerned the explosion may have caused asbestos to disperse and are advising anyone who finds any unusual material not to touch it but to contact Derbyshire police on 101.
A camera used to record the weather 10 miles from Belper caught the moment of explosion. Four seconds into the video, a column of smoke appears in the middle of the picture.