DOZENS of firefighters are battling to control a fire at Stanlow Oil Refinery which saw thick smoke billow across Ellesmere Port.
At just before 11am on Saturday emergency services were called to Unit Three at Essar Oil's Stanlow Refinery on oil Sites Road, Ellesmere Port after reports of a fire.
Crews from Frodsham, Runcorn, Northwich, Crewe, Birchwood, Warrington, Ellesmere Port and Chester fire stations spent over six hours battling the blaze at the oil refinery, working alongside firefighters from Shell's fire service using foam to quell the flames.
At just after 5pm this evening dozens of firefighters from across the region withdrew to a 25 metre cordon around the fire, and firefighters continue to remain at the scene and are using hose jets to cool the site down.
The Health Protection Agency has issued a warning to residents living close to the site to watch out for signs of smoke inhalation, after thick, non-toxic, smoke billowed from an exhaust stack on the site across neighbouring residential areas as the fire raged on the site this morning.
Symptoms can include coughing and wheezing, breathlessness, phlegm production and chest pain. People with asthma and other respiratory conditions may be particularly susceptible to the smoke and should carry and use their medication at this time.
Anyone who experiences any of these symptoms is urged to seek urgent medical advice or call NHS Direct on 0845 4647.
Essar Oil UK Limited has issued a statement wishing to apologise to people living near the site who may have been alarmed by the smoke and have assured members of the public that the smoke plume was stopped as soon as possible.
A spokesperson for Essar Oil UK Limited said: "No one has been injured during the incident. A full investigation will now begin into the incident."