Two Stoke-on-Trent roads remain partially closed this afternoon as firefighters and police remain at the scene of a blaze.
Emergency services were dispatched to Pinnox Street and Williamson Street, Tunstall, not far from the Asda in Scotia Road, at around 4.30pm yesterday afternoon.
Williamson Street is partially closed from Gibson Street to High Street. The top of Pinnox Street is also partially closed from the junction of Gibson Street.
One resident of Pinnox Street, Lesley Slater, says the whole street was out to watch as fire crews tackled the blaze, which he says was ‘unusual’ for the road where he has lived for 40 years.
“At first I didn’t know it was on,” said the 78-year-old. “I was in the bath and I could see flashing lights outside my window.
“My friend who lives in Newcastle called me because he heard it was on my street, so I checked and then rang my sister and my son.
“The whole street was out to watch because it was really blazing up. They cordoned off part of the road to keep everyone safe.
“I did get a call from Severn Trent to tell us that the water might be murky or could even go off, but it was fine. I’m just glad I had my hot bath before it all happened just in case our water did go off.
“The police also came to each house to tell us about the fire, and they said our electric might go off, but it didn’t.
“The whole thing was quite shocking to see – I’ve lived here 40 years and nothing like this ever really happens here so it’s really unusual. There was a smaller fire at the red brick building at the end of the road about two years ago, but that’s it.”
On nearby Gibson Street, one resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said that the police and the water company had been in touch to let him and his neighbours know about the place.
“They said our electric might go off,” he explained. “And Severn Trent said our water could be discoloured or murky, but it wasn’t. And our electric was fine.
“I was asleep for most of the day so didn’t see anything, but there was a lot of smoke when I came out at 7pm, and the building was on fire.”
Neighbour Najma Hussain documented the fire by taking photos and videos on her phone.
“It was such a big fire and seemed to get bigger and bigger. It started around 4pm and by about 8.30pm it was over,” said the 30-year-old.
“As far as I know no one was hurt which is good news. There’s a lot of rumours going around that someone started the fire on purpose but we don’t know anything.
“I had to pop to work at about 6pm and the police had to break the barrier for me when I left because I just couldn’t get out.”