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FACTORY FIRE: Hero rescues work colleague in Enstone plastics blaze
A TRAPPED workman had to be rescued by a colleague during last night's huge fire at a factory in West Oxfordshire.
About 80 firefighters from across the county battled the fire at Oxford Plastics, off Bicester Road, near Enstone airfield. One man was taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.
There are still 10 firefighters at the factory this morning to ensure no hotspots reignited, as the fire service said it believed that a spark during welding was the cause of the blaze.
At the peak of the fire, which started at about 8pm, a large plume of smoke could be seen about 12 miles away.
Incident commander Jason Crapper said 12 workers were in the plastics unit when the fire was sparked during welding.
He added that one member of staff had been rescued by a colleague before firefighters arrived.
He said: “The fire developed very quickly and one man got trapped and he was rescued by a colleague who managed to force his way into that part of the building.
“The chap who was trapped inhaled a lot of smoke and his colleague probably saved his life.
“He was taken to hospital after breathing in smoke but I have been told that he is going to be okay.
“Firefighters had to wear breathing apparatus masks because of the toxic smoke and our main concern was preventing the fire from spreading to an adjacent paper mill, which we managed to do.”
Mr Crapper said the circumstances of the blaze would now be investigated by Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service.
He added: “We could liaise with the Health & Safety Executive but this is a fire safety issue so we are the lead investigators.
“There are no suspicious circumstances and this fire is being treated as an accident.”
Firefighters will remain at the site today to damp down the factory and make sure it is safe.
Oxford Plastics makes materials to improve safety at construction sites. No-one was available for comment.