Shocked Leeds residents react to 'massive' Pudsey fire

Leeds residents have spoken of the moment a "big ball of orange flames" burst from an industrial site next to their homes.

Around 20 houses were evacuated after emergency services rushed to a fire at Moulds Patterns and Models (MPM) off Kent Road in Pudsey at around 10pm last night.

The fire in Pudsey

The fire in Pudsey

Firefighters have said the area is now safe to the public but people who live on the neighbouring Valley Road have today spoken of their shock.

Emma McKeon, 26, awoke last night to police knocking on her door to evacuate her and her children, and she did not return until shortly before 11am today.

She said: "It was absolutely massive. You could see it billowing over the trees and the garages. It was quite scary and there was loads of dark, thick smoke.

"My daughter was in absolutely floods of tears. It was more the shock that anything.

"We are fortunate there is no damage to our property and we are all out alive."

Neighbour Glen Ford, 39, who lives with his wife and two children, said: "The fire started around 10pm. The fire brigade were here pretty quickly. It just got worse and worse and worse."

Mr Ford and his family were evacuated and did not return to their home until around 5.30am.

"It was quite scary. It was big. It completely destroyed the building.

"The flames were above the trees at about 30 to 40 foot. There was a massive amount of smoke and which was thick and acrid. It was quite horrible, you could smell it in the house."

He added that the fire service kept residents informed.

"They were really good, they kept us calm," he said.

Alan and Johanne Smith, aged 73 and 68, have lived on Valley Road for 45 years and had not seen anything like this happen before.

They were advised to stay inside and keep all their windows and doors shut.

Mr Smith said: "Johanne just heard the alarm go off and we saw a car pull up.

"There was smoke coming out of the doors at 10pm.

"It was quite a while before we saw flames. I think they had to use bolt cutters to get in."

He added: "They've spent several weeks recently at MPM refurbishing all the offices. They've obviously spent a lot of money."

And he said that the fire service had hose pipes in use from "all the way up to the town hall".

Mrs Smith said: "There was just a big ball of orange flames everywhere. It was awful."

Another resident, who did not wish to give her name, said: "We could just see all this smoke coming out. We were just watching it for a little bit. Then at 11.05pm we heard this bang.

"Something exploded and flames just flared up."