Committee demands fire report

Gas explosion in Featherstone , West Yorkshire in the U.K.'photo by Marcin Wziontek'+447922835949
Gas explosion in Featherstone , West Yorkshire in the U.K.'photo by Marcin Wziontek'+447922835949

FIRE bosses were quizzed this week over what caused the devastating fireball explosion in North Featherstone last year.

Wakefield Council’s community safety and overview committee grilled two West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service chiefs who faced questions over the inferno at Welburn Transport on Church Lane, which saw 300ft flames shoot up into the air and hundreds of residents evacuated.

At Monday’s meeting incident commander Steve Fearley said no definitive cause of the blast last March was ever established, but said flying embers from a neighbouring garden fire may have set alight cardboard boxes at the site, which caused a 4,500-litre diesel truck to explode.

Committee member and Featherstone councillor Graham Isherwood requested a report be made available to residents still living in fear and confusion following the blaze.

He said: “People in that area are still very confused about what happened, the reasons for it, why it happened, whether it will happen again. Residents deserve an explanation – we need a report to say why it happened and that it will not happen again.”

Mr Fearley – alongside district commander Martin Langan – agreed to prepare a report for the committee.

He added: “We’re more than happy to come and speak to the community to talk about the incident.”

The committee also discussed the storage of acetylene cylinders which were found not to be the cause of the blaze.