RESIDENTS have been urged to keep windows and doors closed as eight fire crews tackle a fire at the PMBL building in Chard which also caused damage to a martial arts club.

Fire crews are “still actively fighting the fire” that broke out on Leach Road at around 5.48am this morning (Sunday, February 25).

A Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said the fire started in PMBL but the unit comprises two businesses, PMBL and the martial arts school, which was severely damaged in the fire too.

Chard & Ilminster News: The roof of the building was damaged and residents were asked to close doors and windows due to the smokeThe roof of the building was damaged and residents were asked to close doors and windows due to the smoke (Image: Jakub Krolik)

The service initially sent six fire crews and asked residents to close their windows and doors due to the smoke.

Chard & Ilminster News: Eight crews were called to tackle the blazeEight crews were called to tackle the blaze (Image: Jakub Krolik)

A spokesperson for the service said: "We are in attendance at a large fire at a battery manufacturer industrial unit on Leach Road in Chard.

"Eight pumping appliances as well as specialist resources are in attendance. There have been no injuries reported.

"We are advising residents to close doors and windows due to the large smoke plume."

“The roof of the building was fully involved in the fire and the building was deemed to be too unsafe, so crews had to withdraw and fight the fire defensively.”

Jakub Krolik, who lives near the scene, said: "I live next door. I woke up to blue lights outside my window.

"When I looked I saw a lot of fire brigades and a big fire. Explosions were heard. "There is no electricity in the area at this time."

The fire service spokesperson also said police are in attendance and the road is currently closed.

There are no reports of injuries.

An update from the fire service said: "Water is being shuttled to the two aerial appliances using a water bowser and fire appliances.

"Water jets and a ground monitor are also in use.

"Steady progress is being made using the resources above. The incident will be scaled back to four pumping appliances shortly."