Residents evacuated after 'suspected hazardous materials' found at house

Residents have been evacuated from a street in Stockport, Greater Manchester, after ‘suspected hazardous materials’ were discovered at a house.

The taped-off area around the address on Middleton Road grew to 100m over the course of the day, with locals within the boundary told to pack an overnight bag and head to the local Life Leisure Houldsworth Village leisure centre.

Declaring a major incident, police arrested a 50-year-old man and took him into custody, where he is being held under Section 4 of the Explosive Substances Act.

Forensics, fire crews and specialist explosives units descended on the house, located in the Reddish area of the town, following intelligence about the manufacture of illegal fireworks.

One resident of Middleton Road told the Manchester Evening News: ‘It started early this morning, about 10 o’clock, I woke up to it all. There were fire engines, police, and it’s just unravelled all day. I went to the shops a few times and the fire service guys told me it was nothing to worry about, this and that.

‘But it escalated to them closing the whole road, the army turning up and the police knocking on the door asking us to evacuate.

‘It was about 4:30pm and the officer said we needed to evacuate. I left about 5pm and have come to family.

‘They did say the council would put people up if needed and they didn’t know how long it would be but they told us to pack an overnight bag.’

She added: ‘It’s a bit of a shock really but then again nothing much these days shocks you.’

Silver Commander Chief Inspector Jamie Collins said: ‘We understand this news will have caused some concern in the community, not just amongst the residents who have unfortunately been displaced.

‘Our highest priority is keeping people safe which is why we have put a cordon in place, evacuated properties and warned members of the public to avoid the area.

‘This has understandably caused some disruption and, though we are not yet in a position to confirm when the area will return to normal, further updates will follow throughout the evening.

‘I would like to use this opportunity to thank the community for their cooperation and patience.’

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