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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 November 2005, 18:03 GMT
Fire leaves 75,000 without power
Huge fire at scrap yard in Poole
The fire broke out at the scrap yard in Poole on Tuesday morning
Up to 75,000 homes were left without power in Dorset after firefighters tackled a major fire at a scrapyard.

The blaze started at the Nelson Stanley yard on Alder Road in Poole. A large plume of smoke, which rose 200 metres in the air could be seen, police said.

Explosions were heard as about 400 cars went up in flames. One person was slightly hurt on Tuesday morning.

The fire burnt through a high voltage network line bringing down main cables.

Between 40,000 and 50,000 properties are still without electricity, a spokeswoman for Southern Electricity said.

Motorists are warned that street lights and traffic lights could also be affected by the blackout.

Scrap yard fire (courtesy of Derek Bacon)
Plumes of smoke from the metal scrap yard blaze from a distance

Councillor Graham Wilson, from Poole Borough Council, said: "I think it's diabolical that we could have such a risk, a known situation of a huge amount of power coming in over a scrap yard which has quite a high potential for this sort of fire, as we see today."

The Southern Electricity spokeswoman added: "We are in the hands of the fire service and the police and we are waiting to get on to the site to start carrying out repairs but we can't do anything until we get access to the site.

"It will be several hours before people can be reconnected.

"It's the main artery of the power network into the area, Bournemouth, Poole, Parkstone, the whole of that area."

About 80 firefighters wearing breathing apparatus tackled the blaze as 30 police officers patrolled the cordoned off area.

Mr Coleman added the cause of the fire was not thought to be suspicious and that there was no indication that the smoke plume contained any toxic chemicals.

But people have been advised people to stay indoors with their windows closed and to avoid the area.

It is not yet known how the blaze began.

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