More than 1,000 people were evacuated from their Black Country homes yesterday after a fire engulfed a bakery which had acetylene cylinders on the premises.
A 200-metre exclusion zone was set up by police around the M Firkin bakery on Crank Hall Lane in Wednesbury, Sandwell, following the fire which started just before 8am.
The blaze was behind two roller-shutter doors and had spread to the back of the ground- floor workshop.
Firefighters forced entry into three neighbouring properties and an acetylene cylinder was removed from the burning building.
A West Midlands Fire Service spokeswoman said: "The fire service and West Midlands Police worked together to evacuate 150 residential premises."
Residents were put up by Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council at Friar Park Community Centre, Wednesbury. Police suspect arson.
Meanwhile, thousands of tyres that were on fire at a nearby industrial estate created a plume of black smoke that could be seen at least 12 miles away.
More than 50 firefighters tackled the blaze at Tyre Collection Services in Bulls Lane, Wednesbury, at 6pm on Saturday.