'Explosion' sounds wake residents before evacuation after huge blaze at tyre firm
RESIDENTS describe being woken by “an explosion” sound and being “evacuated” as a nearby business went up in flames during the night.
RSK Tyres, in London Road, Westcliff, were victim to an “immense” blaze as two tonnes of tyres and several vehicles caught alight at around 2am this morning.
Nicola Pinborough, 43, lives in Crowstone Road behind where the fire took place, and described being woken up by an “almighty explosion” which she thought was “a bomb”.
She told the Echo: “I was first woken by an almighty explosion, which I can only assume was the van, going up in flames.
“It was just after 2am I think.
“Almost instantaneously, a police officer knocked on my door to inform me of the fire behind. I immediately went to wake my neighbour as there was a child in there too.
“The officer flung open my curtains at the back of the house to see a sky of orange, with flames that appeared to reach higher than the house.
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“I scooped up my pet rabbit and dog and went outside.
“I thought it was a bomb, I have never heard something so loud and so close before. I swear I felt the vibrations.
“I think the explosion was the first car of the four to explode, which I think was the van, as there were other explosions that followed but they seemed a little quieter.
“I am still in shock.”
Essex Fire are yet to confirm the cause of the blaze, which saw four crews attend.
Nicola added that she is now back in her home and thanked the emergency services for their actions to prevent the fire from spreading.
She added: “A big thank you to the police and fire brigade for alerting me and their swift action to evacuate and take control of the immense fire.
“I am extremely grateful to them all, for their courageous efforts to protect us and keep us safe, especially the officer that came to my door.
“I am now back inside, only with the rancid smell of burning rubber.”