A MAJOR incident was declared in Somerset on Friday night (October 28) after the emergency services received reports of explosions at a pyrotechnics factory.

Residents living within 600 metres of the Event Horizon premises in Ashcott, near Street, were evacuated overnight while the fire service and police were at the scene.

At 8.54pm, the fire service confirmed it was attending “an incident at a pyrotechnics factory” but said there was “no immediate danger to anyone”.

This followed several reports of an explosion and a call from the site “confirming that an explosion and subsequent explosions had happened within a shipping container”.

The fire service later confirmed that one shipping container was destroyed by exploding fireworks.

Crews from 11 fire stations - including Bridgwater, Burnham-on-Sea, Glastonbury, Cheddar and Wells - were in attendance.

Residents living nearby were asked to close their windows and doors to keep smoke out of their properties.

A major incident was declared at around 11pm and a 600-metre exclusion zone was put in place. Residents living within the exclusion zone were moved to a local rest centre.

The fire service allowed the fire to burn out naturally, and the exclusion zone remained in place until the following morning (Saturday, October 29).

At around 11.30am, fire crews were able to approach the containers and make the area safe.

A police drone was used through the night to assist the fire service with visual and thermal inspections because of the large cordon in place around the site.

Police officers and a hazardous area response team from the ambulance service helped evacuate 20 properties located within the exclusion zone.

Several roads in the area were closed while the emergency services dealt with the incident. The closures were lifted on Saturday.

On Monday morning, a spokesperson for the Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service said: “The fire service came away from the incident on October 29.

“We believe the fire started accidentally and the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) have been informed.”

The HSE is a Government agency and the national regulator responsible for workplace health and safety.