A FACTORY had to be evacuated after a fire threatened to detonate several large gas canisters.
Police and firefighters evacuated Steadvale Air Systems after an acetylene torch caused a fire to break out in a workshop area.
Emergency services raced to the incident in Glenrothes, Fife, yesterday morning at around 11.30am.
Police set up a 20 metre cordon while fire crews battled the blaze inside.
Fife Fire and Rescue said that they had to keep a hose trained on several large canisters after they became superheated from the fire.
Dave Wyllie, director at EW Edwardson electricians, said that police asked him and his staff to move away from one side of the building because there was a “danger of explosion”.
Danger of explosion
He said: “They came down to the office and asked us to move away from that end of the building.
“They just said there’s a danger of explosion and to move away.
“Two fire engines are still there now, and the cordon is still in place.
“The building itself is like two hangers together, with an office inside. There’s about 20 people work there.
“The company make compressors for the oil industry, something like that.”
One employee at the Moffat & Williamson coach firm, which is several buildings down, said that police asked her staff to move from their office to the other side of the building as firefighters tried to cool the cylinders.
She said: “The police came to tell us earlier today. They set up a cordon in front of where the fire engines are now.
“They got everyone out of the building, and the police asked if they could use our canteen, because it was snowing heavily outside.
“Eventually they brought in vans to take them away somewhere.
“They asked us to move from the office near cordon to the office on the other side of the building, but it was being painted so we just stayed here.”
A spokeswoman for Fife Fire and Rescue said: “We are still in attendance at a factory on Boston Road in Glenrothes.
“We attended to a fire in the workshop area, believed to be caused by an oxy-acetylene torch.
“Police assisted us in evacuating the factory and surrounding area.
“We are still on the scene now and using ground monitors to keep the hose reel fixed on cylinders, which I think were in the area of the fire.
“They could on the scene for 12 to 24 hours as they can take some time to cool down.”