Evacuated Summerfield residents describe 'ghost town'

Kidderminster Shuttle: A449 at the junction of Stanklyn Lane and Summerfield Lane closed. A449 at the junction of Stanklyn Lane and Summerfield Lane closed.

RESIDENTS evacuated from their homes near to the site of the Summerfield rocket factory fire have described the area as a “ghost town”.

Six crews from Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service attended the Roxel site in Summerfield Lane, off the A449, at 8.30am after reports of a fire.

An exclusion zone of 600m has been set up as emergency services trying to contain the blaze.

Some residents who were evacuated from their homes have gone to the Wyre Forest Glades Leisure Centre, which is acting as a rest centre for evacuees.

A Summerfield Lane resident, who did not want to be named, said he went to the centre after police told him there was an evacuation.

“It’s like a ghost town up there,” he said. “We’ve been here 30 years. It’s a bit of a shock. They’ve taken the precautions they had to take and we appreciate that.”

Another resident from Summerfield Lane, Sarah Watson, who had gone to the Mare and Colt pub said: “The police came to our door to tell us we were being evacuated and said ‘You can stay but for your own safety you might want to get out’.”

Her mother, Barbera Watson, added: “We have a cat inside our house and a horse outside so we are a bit concerned. We were nervous being told to get out of your house and not told why.

“It is scary when you do not know how bad it is what they do in that factory is secret so you do not know what is going on in there.”

Summerfield Lane resident John Jordan said he and his wife were told to leave their house. “The danger is something we have to live with,” he added.

Another resident who lived on neighbouring road The Avenue and did not want to be named said: “I have lived here for 45 years and worked in the factory for 23 years but never seen anything like this.

“After I was told to leave the house, I looked through my bedroom window but could not see anything.”

Gregory Cutts, who works at TDI Supplies in Hoo Farm Industrial Estate, said police told workers to evacuate the area in cars.

“It was a bit of a shock,” he told The Shuttle. “I was in work and the police told us to leave the building and then they came back 20 minutes later and said we need to evacuate in cars. No one was allowed to walk because it was out of control.”

He added staff were told not to return to work for the rest of the day.

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