HUGE FIRE DAMAGES FACTORY
ABOUT 80 Ammanford residents were put on evacuation alert after they were threatened with toxic smoke form a blaze at a nearby factory.
Twenty-four fire fighters from Ammanford, Pontarddulais, and Tumble, battled to control a blaze at TNT Welding in Shands Road, Tirydail which destroyed about 50,000 plastic containers for Ford factory lined engines.
It is believed the blaze started in a skip before spreading to the containers which were stacked nearby in the yard.
Police officers alerted residents of neighbouring streets shortly after 5.30am as flames shot about 100ft into the air and thick acrid smoke covered an area from, Garnswllt to Brynamman.
Because hydrants were poor, firefighters had to pump water from the River Loughor about 150 yards away.
Trains running along the nearby Heart of Wales line were delayed and electricity supplies and telephone links affected.
Mrs Eunice Jones, of 23 Florence Road, the house nearest to the factory, said the family were awoken to the noise of loud bangs at around 5.30am.
“We looked out from the window and saw flames coming from the factory. It was frightening as trees were starting to burn about 30 yards from our home.
Luckily it started to rain which stopped the blaze spreading.
“We could feel the heat inside the house and the sky was black. We could also ear loud bangs and thought it was something exploding at the factory.”
Mr Neil Williams, of 3 Brynderwen Road, the street opposite the factory, said they heard about eight bangs which sounded like a gun being fired.
He added: “But on looking we could see flames billowing into the sky from the direction of the factory. We did not think of the danger because we were in the safety of our own home, but we could fell the heat coming in through the upstairs window.
“We have had to put up with noise from the factory as early as 7am. There has also been a gassy smell but we have never been threatened by it.
A Fire Brigade spokesman said nearby residents were put on standby but they were not requested to evacuate. “The fire started in a skip and spread to stacks of plastic containers. About 50,000 containers used to house Ford factory line engines were destroyed.”
Detective Sergeant Aled Davies said an investigation had been carried out in conjunction with the fire service but there were no suspicious circumstances.