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Plumes of smoke billow out over city after major fire

Witnesses in Brighton and Hove described the smoke as ‘rancid’.

Large plumes of smoke billowing out from a major fire at a building merchants’ warehouse have led to road closures, while nearby residents have been told to keep their windows shut.

Eight fire engines were called to tackle the blaze at around 9am on Thursday in Brighton and Hove.

DJ Fatboy Slim was among those who posted a video clip of the fire on Twitter.

The fire began in the storeroom of the Chandlers Building Supplies branch in the Portslade area of the city, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said.

Witnesses posting on social media called the smoke “rancid” and described hearing “explosions” as the fire took hold.

A fire service spokesman said: “The building is well alight.

“Due to large volumes of smoke in the Portslade boundary area, the public are advised to avoid the area. Sussex Police have also implemented road closures in the area and traffic is busy.”

Police told drivers to follow a diversion and said residents who live in the area should keep their windows shut because of the smoke.

A spokesman for Chandlers Building Supplies said it appeared the blaze started early in the morning and no-one was hurt but the branch was closed until further notice.

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