A FIRE broke out at the B&M store on Clifton Moor yesterday afternoon.

Police say the fire started in the storage yard of the shop and the area around the store was evacuated.

The A1237 ring road between Wigginton roundabout and the Tesco roundabout was closed. Police confirmed this morning, Sunday, that the road has now reopened.

Police have said that no one was injured during the incident.

Firefighters were on the scene through the night and an investigation is set to be launched today.

Residents were advised to stay indoors and close all their windows while emergency services tackled the blaze.

The roof of the building collapsed and a resident said there was a "blanket of smoke" across the area.

A shopper at the scene said: "It smells acrid, it's disgusting. It looks like a volcano, there are massive plumes of smoke that suddenly shoot out.

"Quite a big area has been sealed off and there is thick, dense black smoke which you must be able to see from absolutely miles away. It's billowing north. The incident command unit has just arrived. The traffic is totally gridlocked."

Liam Cadd, a personal trainer at Pure Gym on Clifton Moor, said within an hour the B&M store had been "engulfed" in flames.

He said: "It must have been after 4.30pm when one of the members knocked on the office door and said there was a fire next door. The police asked us to evacuate the gym.

"The fire looked like it was in the store yard but then we could see flames coming through the roof. 

"We heard banging and popping noises, we don't know if there were fireworks inside. We were told there may be compressed gas cylinders inside.

"We could feel the heat from the fire, it was quite strong. The back of the store started falling apart and the whole building is demolished."

He said about 60 people were evacuated from the gym, which is about 30 yards from the store, and added: "Everyone at the gym was fine and no one was injured."

North Yorkshire Fire Service said they had 10 pumps, two aerial ladder platforms, two water bowsers and a high volume pump at the scene.

A Yorkshire Ambulance Service spokeswoman said that although staff attended the scene as a precaution, no-one has been admitted to hospital.

A spokesman for B&M stores confirmed that all members of staff at the branch are safe.

Councillor Stuart Rawlings, who represents Rawcliffe and Clifton Without, has also been encouraging people in his ward to stay indoors and keep windows closed. 

"Because there's thick smoke and it's drifting towards Haxby and Wigginton they are asking people to keep their windows closed, and I just think that's a prudent thing to do," he told The Press. 

He said he was being updated on the situation by a City of York Council emergency officer, adding: "The most important question I have asked is 'do we believe anyone has been injured' and we do not believe anyone has been.

”They are expecting to be fighting the fire through the night.”

He said the council's role at this stage was to reassure residents that the fire was under control and being contained, they would later look at what went wrong.

Nearby gym Roko Health Club is currently closed.

York Press:

Police say smoke is very thick in the area and is causing problems for motorists. (Photo: Lee Jones York Press Camera Club)

Updates to follow.