A LARGE fire has ripped through a Halesowen factory with smoke plumes visible from miles around.

More than 40 firefighters have been battling the fire, which investigators have said was started accidentally, in Hayseech Road.

The fire, at Solutions Acrylic & Display industrial unit, is believed to have started in a laser cutting machine.

It is now under control, however a number of appliances remain at the scene damping down and making the area safe.

Fire crews were called at around 11.30am this morning. 

Hundreds of people have been commenting on the fire on Twitter and Facebook - Alexandra Firkins posted the above video.

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The fire site is near several other industrial buildings at the Beaver Park Industrial Estate and is also just 50 metres from houses on Fairmile Road.

Alexandra, of Fairmile Road, said she could feel the heat from the fire.

The 40-year-old said: "I just looked out the window about 11.20am and thought it was a rain cloud but then saw the most horrific black smoke and brown smoke.

"My dad lives right at the top of the road so I drove up to make sure he was ok and there were lots of people there wanting to know what was going on.

"You could feel the heat from that far away, massive orange flames and a lot of black smoke.

"The roof has just melted, it's gone to nothing. You could hear things popping, initially we thought it might've been tyres on fire.

"It's quite frightening as you don't see things like that down by us.

"I'm hoping nobody is hurt and the firefighters all get out ok."

The fire service was advising people living nearby to keep their windows and doors closed. 

Halesowen News:

Melanie Gooch posted this picture of the smoke plumes.

Halesowen News:

Above pic: Alexandra Firkins.

Solutions Acrylic & Display Limited states on its website that it was founded in 1993 and that it designs and manufactures acrylic display products, literature and product dispensers, exhibition equipment, display cases, cabinets, estate agent displays and more.

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The firm on Hayseech Road (pictured above) before the fire. Pic: Google.

A spokesman for West Midlands Fire Service said investigators have established the fire was started accidentally.

They added crews arrived within three minutes to discover a single storey factory unit well alight on Hayseech Road. 

"The incident commander immediately requested an eight pump attendance consisting of 40 firefighters and a number of specialist officers," they added. 

"The fire is now under control and is expected to be extinguished in the next thirty minutes to one hour. 

"However due to the contents of the premises we advise local residents to keep windows and doors closed due to low smoke plume. 

"There is no danger to public safety. We would like to thank local businesses and residents for their assistance in the dynamic phase of the incident."

Halesowen News:

Pic: Dave Harley. 

Halesowen News:

Pic: West Midlands Fire Service twitter

Firefighters pumped water from the nearby River Stour with crews using a hydraulic platform to douse the flames from above.