Around 200 people evacuated after fire at Dewsbury wedding venue

Blaze started in kitchen of The Taj banqueting suite

The Taj in Dewsbury, the scene of a fire

Around 200 people were evacuated from a wedding venue when a fire broke out.

The Taj Banqueting Suite, based in the former Dewsbury Library building on Wellington Road, had to be evacuated at around 8.45pm on Wednesday when an explosion caused a fire in the kitchen.

A Dewsbury Fire Station spokeswoman said the fire started when one of the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders in the kitchen came loose as people were eating in the dining hall.

She said there was a huge number of people outside the venue when firefighters arrived and everybody had got to safety.

An eyewitness said there was a small explosion and smoke but no flames were seen by the guests and he said the scene outside was chaotic.

The eyewitness said: “I’d say there were easily 200 people, if not more, outside. It was very chaotic as the firefighters had only just entered the building and people were still pouring out of the place.

“The lead fire officer was calling for police assistance to control the large crowd and then the full emergency plan swung into action with police, paramedics, ambulances and two Hazardous Area Response Teams arriving.

“I spoke to some wedding guests who said the fire was in the kitchen area and there had been an explosion just prior to the place been evacuated. Smoke was rising but no flames.”

A West Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said they were called to help evacuate the guests and help clear them from the scene for the firefighters.

Crews from Dewsbury and Batley attended.

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