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People told to shut windows as plumes of smoke billow from huge industrial fire

Residents have been ordered to shut their windows after a huge industrial chimney fire sent plumes of black smoke billowing through the air.

Firefighters were tackling the blaze in a waste water treatment plant in Wirral, Merseyside from around 1pm today.

Thick black fumes were seen filling the skies above Birkenhead as Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service sent three fire engines to the scene at United Utilities on Shore Road.

They warned anyone living nearby with existing health conditions to keep medicine to hand and call NHS 111 if they suffered ill effects.

The service said the fire relates to an “industrial chimney on Shore Road”, Liverpool Echo reports.

Members of the public took images of the smoke showing big clouds of it in the air and seen from Liverpool.

At this stage it is not clear how the fire started or if any road closures are in place.

Thankfully firefighters managed to get the blaze under control and the last flames were extinguished before 4pm.

A large-scale clean-up operation has now commenced in the surrounding area.

People living close to the area were advised to shut all windows and doors due to the large volume of smoke.

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service said: “Anyone with existing medical conditions should keep medicines nearby and call NHS 111 if ill effects occur.

“Please avoid the area.”

A spokesperson for United Utilities said: “We can confirm that the fire service is assisting us with a localised electrical fire at our Birkenhead wastewater treatment works.

“No one has been injured.”