St John Ambulance rushes to the aid of communities in Lancashire after major fire breaks out

St John Ambulance, the nation's leading first aid charity, has been called out to provide emergency assistance in response to a major fire in Blackpool, Lancashire.

Nigel Robinson, Emergency Planning Officer for St John Ambulance said: 'St John Ambulance volunteers have responded immediately tonight to provide vital assistance to those who need it most.

'We have set up an overnight rest centre to provide aid and comfort to over 300 people after the evacuation of 150 homes and a nursing centre. We will continue to be there to support the communities in need for as long as we are needed.'

More than 60 firefighters were called to the fire which broke out at the Hoo Hill Industrial Estate in Layton, Blackpool shortly after 7pm tonight (26 November).

 Residents who live near the industrial estate where evacuated because of fears that chemicals could cause an explosion.

St John Ambulance responds to hundreds of local incidents and major accidents each year and plays a crucial role in supporting the emergency services when help is needed, for example at the summer floods of 2007 and the 7/7 attacks in London.