16:43 GMT24 January 2021
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    Dramatic videos show dark smoke eclipsing the city as emergency services rush to the scene amid police warnings to locals to keep windows and doors shut to avoid breathing toxic fumes.

    The city of Peterborough was shocked by an explosion and major fire which enveloped a Hotpoint warehouse on Thursday evening.

    Fire crews have reported that 40 trailers carrying parts for washing machines and fridges were set alight.

    Hotpoint is an American and European brand of domestic appliances owned by US company Whirlpool and China's Haier. Whirlpool confirmed that the area of the fire is where heavy goods vehicles are parked.

    The police are preventing the public from entering the site, including the director of Whirlpool.

    ​Camrbidgeshire police described the incident as "serious" and are warning people to keep their windows and doors shut to prevent smoke entering their homes.

    The fire is said to be producing 'toxic smoke' and can be seen miles away. Photographs of the fire shows thick dark smoke rising behind houses and filling the air.

    Fire, ambulance and police teams are confirmed to be on scene in Woodston to put out the fire.

    Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service have said that a large team of firefighters and 9 engines are currently fighting the blaze.

    A spokesperson told Cambridgeshire Live: "It’s big incident at Hotpoint warehouse, Shrewsbury Avenue in Peterborough. We are firefighting. We have 50 on the scene, and about 9 engines. We are on top of it, we are controlling the fire, we hope to have it extinguished in the next few hours."

    Witnesses near the area posted video footage and images of the hellish scene online. 

    The spokesperson confirmed: "Temporary road closures have been put in place in Shrewsbury Avenue, Morley Way and Celta Road up to the junction with the A15. The A15 remains open.

    One witness reporting hearing explosions.

    The Cambridge Fire Brigades Union reported that the city itself is filled with smoke.

    Some onlookers said the entirety of the city is witness to the smoke and described the blaze as a "mad fire".


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