Page last updated at 14:06 GMT, Sunday, 21 December 2008

Dozens evacuated in village fire

Dozens of residents in a North Yorkshire village have been evacuated from their homes after a fire in a garage caused gas bottles to overheat.

People living close to the scene of the fire at Sutton under Whitestonecliff were moved out of their homes by police on Sunday morning.

Although the fire was brought under control the overheated welding gas bottles need to cool down.

The residents are expected to be out of their homes for 24 hours.

At the height of the blaze a pall of thick black smoke could be seen for miles around.


The four fire engines sent to the scene found it difficult to deal with the incident because of a shortage of water and they were at one point looking for a river or pond to use.

North Yorkshire Police said that fire fighters discovered that the garage contained potentially explosive cylinders and other flammables which meant a 200m cordon was thrown around the scene.

A section of the A170, which runs through the village, was closed to all traffic. Local diversions were put in place.

Residents moved from their homes within the cordon are staying in the village hall and with nearby neighbours.

There were no reports of any injuries.

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