A HUGE fire broke out at a factory in Brighouse this afternoon which took over three hours to deal with.

An explosion came from the site as well as large plumes of black smoke rising into the sky, according to an onlooker.

The blaze started at around 2.20pm at the Crompton Mouldings building, which is one of the businesses in the Armytage Road Industrial Estate.

The whole factory was caught up in the fire - a single storey, 3,600 square metre building which is roughly the equivalent of 10 IMAX screens bursting into flames.

Twelve fire crews were originally sent to tackle fire with 70 firefighters from across West Yorkshire working on the blaze at its height.

This was later reduced to six fire engines and one aerial appliance with the fire still going, but contained and in a much smaller state, according to a fire service spokesman.

To tackle it, they used 10 large jets, two of which were used from the top of two aerial appliances.

One of the hoses was used to spray water into the factory under a small gap in the grated "Goods In" door on the building, to deal with the fire from below.

Police were at the scene as well and closed Wakefield Road, including the exit of the M62 Junction 25 towards Brighouse causing build ups of traffic throughout the afternoon.

Wakefield Road, the main route between the M62 and Brighouse, only reopened at 5.15pm after being shut since the beginning of the fire.

An employee of neighbouring business Kent Introl said: “There was smoke coming into our building."

Another witness from a separate company said at the time: “The smoke was quite high and they were talking about evacuating but everyone was still about in the end.”

But, a fire services spokesman said: "[Firefighters] managed to save two buildings either side of the one involved in the fire."

Fire Chief Toby May said: "Crews have worked tirelessly to do a quick response to this incident to stop the fire from spreading premises and other buildings."

One onlooker mentioned the blaze was tough to handle because of the plastics inside the factory that were fuelling the fire.

He said: “It looks like the building is going to have to be stripped down.”

Later in the afternoon, as the fire was in a more controlled state, investigations began into the cause of the fire, with a Fire Investigations Officer speaking with employees of Crompton Mouldings.

One said: “We’re just shocked at the minute - the main thing is nobody was hurt.

“We won’t know [the cause] until after the investigation but there’s gas ovens in the factory - that’s what we use to make the products.”

When some of the crews departed Mr May said: "I'm really proud of the actions the crews have taken - we're encountering very arduous conditions.

"Not only because of the location of the fire, but because of the type of industrial premises that it is, but also the hot conditions are key factors that we have to be concerned of for the welfare of our crews.

"Because obviously as you can imagine they are working very hard in very hot conditions that are added to not only by the fire but obviously the hot temperatures."