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Last Updated: Friday, 23 May, 2003, 19:13 GMT 20:13 UK
Investigations start into factory fire
Offices catch fire
The fire was proceeded by an explosion
Investigations have started into how a major fire broke out at paint and oil storage tanks at a factory in Beverley , East Yorkshire.

The fire broke out just after 0930 BST on Friday at the Bartoline company in the Swinemoor industrial estate.

It was brought under control at around 1600 BST.

Local residents say the fire started with an explosion.

One woman said: "I was in the back kitchen and there was an almighty bang."

At its height, black smoke plumes billowed more than 2,000 feet into the air and could be seen 20 miles away.

Residents were advised to stay indoors and keep their doors and windows shut although smoke from the fire was not thought to be toxic.

The fire from the air
Smoke rose 2,000 feet into the air

Police are have already questioning more than 30 workers from the factory in an attempt to find out what started the fire.

There have been no reports of injuries

Humberside's chief fire office. Keith Marshall, told BBC Look North: "It was a major incident.

"At one time we had something like 28 pumping appliances and 150 officers here.

"The worry was that it would spread away from the site into adjoining properties and one time that was a threat.

"We are still getting of the odd explosion from cans of oil."

Bartoline is a family owned firm which has been trading for 127 years and employs about 60 people.

It manufacturers and packs solvents, adhesives and wood treatment products.

The company has so far made no comment about the future of the site.

Humberside fire service say it will be some days before they can complete their investigations.

The BBC's Peter Lane
"It appears no one has been hurt or trapped"

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