Three businesses have been destroyed after an MOT centre went up in flames in Sheffield.
Firefighters called to the blaze on Herries Road, Fir Vale, at 7.45pm yesterday said the MOT centre was engulfed in flames when they arrived.
Three cars inside the centre were destroyed and eight domestic garages underneath the unit were also gutted by the fire.
Fears that gas cylinders inside could explode in the heat led the fire crews to place a 200 metre cordon around the business unit and evacuate five nearby homes until 2am.
At the height of the blaze there were eight fire engines at the scene with firefighters battling to prevent the flames from spreading to neighbouring businesses- but Shans Tints and Fir Vale Tyre Stop both suffered damage from radiated heat.
Zane Shaf, aged 25, worked for Fir Vale MOT Centre for six years before deciding to start up the tyre shop next door only six months ago.
“I just jumped at the business opportunity,” he said.
Mr Shaf was dropping off a tyre to his shop on Monday evening when he saw smoke coming out of the top of the MOT centre. He called 999.
He said: “After that the fire engines came. They asked me what’s in there and as soon as I said gas canisters, they evacuated the area.”
Looking at the devastation on Tuesday morning he said: “I’m gutted.”
The owners of Shans Tint have been running the business for more than ten years.
They said outside the property today: “We’ve lost everything.”
Crews did manage to save the fourth business in the unit - a windscreen repair centre - as well as an accountancy firm adjacent to the unit.
Hazel Holmes, aged 41, lives on Fir Vale Road, thirty metres from the business unit.
After she and her daughter realised they could smell burning, Mrs Holmes said she then heard ‘two or three big pops- like a bang’.
Speaking at her home, she said: “It was quite apparent something was on fire because we could see plumes of smoke.”
Mrs Holmes stayed in the house as she and her family ‘watched it unfold’.
“The police and fire service did their job absolutely immaculately,” she said.
Ojay Khan, aged 40, lives nearby and also praised the way the emergency services tackled the blaze.
He said: “I was a bit scared and worried about it spreading. But I really feel for the firefighters. They put their lives in danger for other people.”
An investigation into the cause of the blaze is underway.
Speaking from the site as the investigation began, temporary South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue group manager Simon Rodgers said: “At the moment I’ve got no reason to believe the fire was started deliberately.”
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