Evacuation drama after 'chemical' fire

AROUND 30 apartments were evacuated after a fire thought to have involved chemicals broke out in Essex.The blaze took hold at an industrial unit next to a block of flats in Great Baddow just after 9pm last night.

AROUND 30 apartments were evacuated after a fire thought to have involved chemicals broke out in Essex.

The blaze took hold at an industrial unit next to a block of flats in Great Baddow just after 9pm last night.

As fire crews and chemical specialists tackled the inferno, police moved the residents away from the scene and created a safety zone.

Firefighters used aerial platforms to create a water tower while they fought to control the blaze.

A Hazmat officer was also drafted in because it was feared cleaning fluids were involved, but this later proved unfounded.

The fire was brought under control at around midnight, but a fire spokeswoman said crews would return this morning to ensure the area was safe.

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A joint police and fire service investigation is now under way to establish the cause of the blaze.