A GAS firm says it is not responsible for a huge fire which ripped through a farm building.

Farmer John Arrowsmith had a lucky escape after he turned on the light in an outbuilding at Elm Farm, Alltami, on Tuesday – and the building exploded.

Nearby homes were evacuated and a 200-metre exclusion zone was set up around the farm amid fears of further blasts.

Wales and West Utilities had been monitoring a gas main at the site for two weeks before the fire, but say the blaze was not related to the gas main in question.

A spokesman said: “Wales and West Utilities have carried out a full investigation into the cause of the fire.

“It was nothing to do with the mains gas network.

“The property does not have a gas supply and the nearest main is over 80 metres away.

“We cannot comment on other supplies of gas on the property.”

A spokesman for North Wales Fire and Rescue said the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Nearby residents were evacuated from their homes shortly before noon amid fears gas canisters stored inside the building could explode.

Occupants of four homes which back on to the farm – a total of 13 people – were evacuated.

Yesterday Mr Arrowsmith, who miraculously escaped without injury, told the Leader: “I still can’t get my head around it at the moment.”

Four fire crews from Mold, Buckley and Deeside were called to the scene shortly after 8am.

By 1.30pm the fire service said they had the blaze under control, but remained at the scene until 6pm applying copious amounts of water to one of the gas cylinders, which had been affected by the fire.