Firefighters hurried to extinguish a huge fire that broke out at a plastics recycling centre with locals advised to stay in their homes and shut their windows. Dramatic images show thick plumes of black smoke, which could be seen from four miles away, billowing out of the Hanbury Plastics centre in Milton, Stoke-on-Trent. The blaze broke out shortly after 9.30am this morning with the fire engine service subsequently receiving 78 calls in 10 minutes from concerned locals, a spokesperson from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue said. The statement read. 'We currently have six appliance at the building as well as an aerial ladder and have been inundated with calls from people who can see the smoke. 'The incident involves a building fire approximately 60m by 100m that contains recycled plastics.' It's not known whether anyone is inside. Residents were advised to stay indoors and keep windows shut by the fire service as they attempted to control the flames and potentially toxic smoke. Football matches at the close-by Hardman centre were called off due to the fumes and police have cordoned off the area for safety reasons. Twitter users from the area remarked that plumes looked like a ash from a volcanic eruption. Samantha Ainsworth commented: 'I hope everyone is ok. This fire is HUGE!' Phil B said: 'This is nuts, still going strong. Ash falling like a volcanic ash cloud in Birches Head and Northwood!' Firefighters say they are expecting to remain at the scene overnight while investigations into the cause of the blaze are carried out. Local resident Michael Gorton, 51, said: 'They are just letting it burn out. It is going to be going for days. 'I have horses in the fields - if the wind changes they are going to die.' Stoke-on-Trent resident Raymond Johnson, 68, questioned whether the factory should have been built so close to housing 'I was in the garden and could smell burning plastic. They have got to build factories somewhere but anything that has a chance of giving fumes like that should be further out,' he said. 'They should not be so close to houses. I have never seen smoke like that before.'