Stafford Fireworks Fire


    Two people were found dead after a large blaze at a fireworks warehouse that saw two others taken to hospital.

    Dramatic bursts of fireworks and thick smoke could be seen as the fire burned in Stafford on Thursday night.

    Although the blaze at the unit of SP Fireworks was brought under control in about three hours, fire crews stayed on site several hours afterwards damping the site down.

    The bodies of Simon Hillier, 41, and 57-year-old Stewart Staples were found on Friday, a day after a huge fire and explosion at the SP Plastics industrial unit on the Baswich Estate.

    The men, both from Hednesford, will not be formally identified for some weeks, said police, but there was enough evidence to place them at the scene.

    It is believed Mr Hillier worked at the unit and Mr Staples was a customer.

    In total, four people were hurt in the fire, which started at about 17:00 and tore through the building on the Baswich Industrial Estate.

    Two men remain in hospital; a man in his 40s, who suffered serious burns, is in a critical condition and a man in his 60s, who sustained a back injury, is stable.

    At its peak, the blaze was being tackled by around 50 firefighters. 

    A number of roads in the area were closed and nearby businesses and homes were evacuated.  Officers urged people living nearby to stay indoors and keep their windows closed.

    Stephanie Horton works in a neighbouring business on the industrial estate and was treated for the effects of smoke inhalation at the scene.

    She described hearing "three massive explosions" and seeing the owner of a neighbouring business thrown to the floor by the blast.

    Darren Humphreys works at an accident repair business opposite the premises, and said the area was quickly engulfed by smoke.

    "There was a chap who got out who was on fire and a couple of our lads ran over to help him," he said.

    "It was like November the 5th 10 times," he said.

    A 53-year-old man who was arrested over the fire has been released, and is now considered a witness, police said.


Collated by Philip Turnbull




Registered Office: Southwold House, 66 Botley Road, Park Gate, Southampton, United Kingdom. Company Number: 07810000