UPDATE: Mother and daughter among dozens evacuated from homes following scrapyard blaze in Stratton Strawless, near Norwich

A mother and her baby daughter were among dozens of people evacuated from their homes in the early hours after a blaze at a nearby scrapyard.

More than 50 fire-fighters fought to contain the flames that ripped through a unit at Ace industrial estate in Stratton Strawless, near Norwich.

The fire started in a workshop believed to belong to Canary Scaffolding in Edwin Way, off Shortthorn Road, just after midnight this morning.

A 200m cordon was put around the site and roads were closed amid fears that acetylene gas cylinders could explode, and fire crews remained on site until after midday.

Families living in nearby Edwin Close were evacuated from their homes at about 2am and were not allowed back for another five hours.

Most of the families were taken to Stratton Strawless village hall, but Kerry Etches, 33, took her daughter Megan, 14 months, to her mother's address in Aylsham.

She said: 'We got a knock on the door from police at about 2am saying that we had to be evacuated from our home.

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'But we had been aware of the fire before then, because of all the commotion, with the flashing lights on the fire engines and the noise, which had woken us up.

'But as we sleep on the other side of the house to the industrial buildings, we had not seen the flames or smoke to start with.

'Most of the people who were evacuated went to the village hall but I took Megan to my mum's home in Aylsham. We were only allowed back home at about 7.30am and, as you can imagine, we did not get any sleep.'

Incident commander Barry Key, who was in charge of the operation, said it was too early to say what had caused the blaze.

He said: 'There were people at the unit when it started, but I don't know whether they were still working.

'They managed to get out without anyone getting hurt and raised the alarm.

'By the time we arrived on site the fire had spread and because there were acetylene gas cylinders on site, a 200m cordon was put around the area and the nearby roads were closed. Residents were evacuated from nearby properties.

'There was quite extensive damage caused to the site including cars and lorries caught up in the flames.'

Crews from Aylsham, Sprowston, Earlham, Norwich, Reepham, Wroxham, North Walsham and the high volume pump from Thetford with the water carrier from Hethersett with the Control Unit from Wymondham were sent to the site.

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