Astonishing images show 50ft 'firenado' during factory blaze

Firefighters have captured the moment a "firenado", or a fire whirl, engulfed a plastics factory in Derbyshire.

A screengrab taken from a video supplied by Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service showing the moment a "firenado" engulfed a plastics factory in Swadlincote, Derbyshire. PIC: Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service/PA Wire

Officers from the fire services had been tackling the fire since about 1.20am on Tuesday at Ravensbourn Plastics Ltd on Occupation Lane, in Albert Village, Swadlincote.

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The fire had also spread to a small site building and a number of fork lift trucks at the property, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service said.

A screengrab taken from a video supplied by Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service showing the moment a "firenado" engulfed a plastics factory in Swadlincote, Derbyshire. PIC: Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service/PA Wire

The Derbyshire service was also joined by officers from Leicestershire and Staffordshire to try and prevent the large fire from spreading.

At around 3pm firefighters started damping down the fire, which involved stacked plastic pallets, which were ordinarily used for making plastic crates for supermarkets.

No injuries were reported but a huge black smoke cloud seen as far as Shepshed in Leicestershire and Nottingham City Centre.

Now firefighters have released footage of the blaze and the mesmerising firenado, which reached a height of over 50ft.

A screengrab taken from a video supplied by Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service showing the moment a "firenado" engulfed a plastics factory in Swadlincote, Derbyshire. PIC: Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service/PA Wire

Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, which helped tackle the blaze, shared the video on Facebook, saying: "Whilst we were firefighting at Occupational Lane we witnessed a firenado or a fire whirl .

"It's created as cool air enters the top of the hot air causing a swirl similar to how a tornado is formed."

Speaking while crews tackled the fire, the Derbyshire service's group manager Steve Wells said: "We've received lots of calls to our control room this morning, as people in the Swadlincote area have woken to the sight of a large black smoke plume.

A screengrab taken from a video supplied by Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service showing the moment a "firenado" engulfed a plastics factory in Swadlincote, Derbyshire. PIC: Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service/PA Wire

"Crews from across Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Staffordshire have been working hard since the early hours of the morning, jointly with partners from the police, Seven Trent Water and the Environment Agency, to bring the fire under control, prevent any further spread and bring the incident to a safe and swift conclusion.

"Whilst the site of the fire is not directly next to any residential properties, we are still advising locals to keep their windows and doors closed until the fire is completely out and the smoke has subsided."

He added: "Anyone experiencing any discomfort or breathing difficulties as a result of the smoke, should seek guidance from their GP."

A screengrab taken from a video supplied by Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service showing the moment a "firenado" engulfed a plastics factory in Swadlincote, Derbyshire. PIC: Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service/PA Wire