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This article was reproduced with the kind permission
of the British Broadcasting Corporation



Monday, 19 November 2007, 16:59 GMT
Inquiry into city factory fire

An investigation has been launched into the cause of a fire at an industrial estate in Cardiff.

People living in 30 homes near the Glamorgan White Lining Factory in Splott had to be evacuated over safety fears of gas canisters exploding.

The building, which was gutted in the fire, is only "partially safe" and there is a 200m cordon around the site.

Sixty-five firefighters were called to the scene following reports of a fire on Sunday evening.

Around half of the building has collapsed.

Fire officers said within 30 minutes of the fire service arriving at the scene, the front end of the building had collapsed.

The single-storey building contained 12 vehicles used for marking the roads, a large quantity of white flammable paint and 3,000 litres of fuel.

After the fire was reported at 1755 GMT on Sunday, homes in Muirton Road were evacuated.

Within half an hour of our arrival the front end of the building collapsed internally
Andy Peterson, South Wales Fire Service

Residents gathered in the Star Leisure Centre at first, but all later found overnight accommodation with families and friends.

At the height of the blaze 13 fire appliances were called to the scene.

Fire service group manager Andy Peterson said a cordon had been put in place because of the danger that gas cylinders in the factory could explode.

"Within half an hour of our arrival the front end of the building collapsed internally.

"We've found out that there are 12 line-making vehicles inside the building, each carrying four 50kg propane cylinders, which are very explosive and flammable."

Officers said residents in the cordoned-off area were able to collect items from their homes before going to work or taking children to school.