A FIRE has broken out in the B & M store in Clifton Moor and police are warning residents to close windows and doors as the smoke is treated as "potentially toxic".

The police say the fire broke out in the store's warehouse and the area was evacuated.

The A1237 ring road between the Wigginton roundabout and the Tesco roundabout is currently closed and motorists are urged to avoid the area.

The residents are advised to stay indoors and close all their windows while emergency services attack the flame.

The roof of the building has now collapsed and a resident says that there is a "blanket of smoke" in the area.

A buyer at the scene said: "It smells sharp, it is disgusting, it looks like a volcano, there are huge plumes of smoke that suddenly shoot out.

"A fairly large area has been sealed off and there is dense, dense black smoke that can be seen from miles away, it's blowing north, the task force has just arrived, traffic is totally blocked."

Liam Cadd, a Pure Gym personal trainer at Clifton Moor, said the B & M store was "engulfed" in an hour in flames.

He said, "It must have been after 4:30 pm when one of the members knocked on the office door and said there was a fire next door." The police asked us to vacate the gym.

"The fire looked like it was in the store, but then we saw flames coming through the roof.

"We heard pops and pops, we do not know if there were any firecrackers, we were told there might be compressed gas bottles inside.

"We could feel the heat of the fire, it was pretty strong, the back of the store was falling apart and the whole building was being demolished."

He said that about 60 people were evacuated from the gym, which is about 30 meters from the store, adding, "Everyone at the gym was fine and no one was injured."

North Yorkshire Fire Service says they currently have 10 pumps, two aerial work platforms, two water cannons and a large pump in place.

A spokeswoman for the Yorkshire Ambulance Service said that as a precautionary measure employees had visited the scene, but nobody had been admitted to the hospital.

The nearby Roko Health Club is closed and a spokesperson for the center says it will be closed tomorrow.

York Press:

Police say that smoke in the area is very thick and causes problems for motorists. (Photo: Lee Jones York Press Camera Club)

Updates follow.



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