Huge factory blaze sends smoke over England town

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Local residents watch as a fire engulfs an industrial premises in Leamington Spa, England, Thursday Aug. 27, 2021. The fire is prompting the evacuation of surrounding properties, fearing the blaze may involve chemicals. (Jacob King/PA via AP)

LONDON – A huge fire broke out at an industrial park in the central England town of Leamington Spa on Friday, sending up dramatic plumes of dark smoke that could be seen for miles.

The emergency services evacuated nearby properties and told people living in the surrounding area to close their windows and doors. Local lawmaker Matt Western said the fire might involve chemicals from a plastics business.

Western said on Twitter that “the scale of the blaze is staggering” but firefighters “are increasingly confident of containing it.”

The West Midlands Ambulance Service said it was on the scene but had not treated any patients.

The fire broke out not far from the center of Leamington, an 18th-century spa town about 100 miles (160 kilometers) northwest of London famed for its elegant Regency architecture.