A HUGE fire at a family business in Cauldon Lowe caused chaos on the roads, as hundreds of visitors leaving Alton Towers were diverted.
Police closed a busy road on Sunday after the fire broke out at the P H Winterton & Son factory.
Dozens of firefighters from across the Staffordshire Moorlands and Stoke-on-Trent were called to the blaze at the plant, on Ellastone Road.
At its height, a total of 11 appliances were at the scene. Fire crews were still at the factory, 48 hours later, on Tuesday as the Post & Times went to press.
The incident is thought to have started in a dust extraction unit at the single storey building.
When crews arrived, an area of the factory measuring 10 metres by 40 metres was well alight. The fire then spread to a nearby shed, while workers were also forced to move lorries away from the area.
Flames could still be seen at the premises on Monday morning.
Chief Fire Officer Peter Dartford, who attended the incident, said: "The fire broke out in a building which contained wood shavings and when the first crews arrived, it was well alight.
"Firefighters worked through Sunday night in order to bring the blaze under control and are still at the scene."
Neighbour Rosie Skinner was walking to the Star pub at Cotton when she heard explosions.
She said: "When we were walking we noticed thick black smoke and then heard explosions. Some were small and other were very big.
"The noise was very loud and then there was smoke all over the area.
"This developed into a big fire and I could still see flames on Monday morning. Fire crews were at the scene for hours."
Edwin Wain, district councillor for the Hamps Valley Ward, said: "I know the family and they are very hard-working. This is a tragedy for them.
"However, the main issue is that no-one was hurt in the incident.
"The family had submitted a planning application to construct another building at the site. This is presently going through the planning procedure.
"However, it now appears more buildings will need replacing."
A spokesman for Staffordshire Police said: "The road adjacent to the incident was closed on Sunday from 4.30pm to 8.20pm.
"This was to allow the large number of vehicles coming from Alton Towers to be diverted away from the scene while fire crews were dealing with the incident."
The company supplies bulk sawdust and shavings for equestrian, cattle and poultry bedding. It moved to its current site in 2008.