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Missing worker presumed dead after ‘apocalyptic’ fire at factory

David Boswell was working at Leeson Polyurethanes on 27 August when the fire started and has not been seen since (Pictures: SWNS)

Friends, family and colleagues have paid tribute to a worker who is presumed to have died in an ‘apocalyptic’ blaze at a plastics factory.

David Boswell, 52, has not been seen since the huge inferno at Leeson Polyurethanes in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, on August 27.

The fire was likened to something out of a ‘disaster movie’ and was so severe that safety investigators still have not been able to access the scene due to the ‘unstable chemicals’ involved, meaning hopes of finding Mr Boswell safe have faded.

His parents, Christine and John Boswell, said: ‘We have lost a dearly loved son who was kind, helpful and will be sorely missed.’

Other loved ones and close acquaintances paid heartfelt tributes, describing him as kind and helpful with a ‘heart of gold’ who always put a smile on the faces of everyone he met.

His partner, Carol Fureed, said: ‘It is with great sadness to announce the loss of my soulmate of 26 years.

‘Dave used to brighten anyone that was feeling down with his jokes. He always knew how to have a good laugh.

‘He had a heart of gold and lived for his family, friends and his passion for fishing. Hope you catch the big one in heaven Dave, until we meet again, love you forever.’

Police have said hopes of finding Mr Boswell safe have now faded (Picture: Warwickshire Police/SWNS)

His brother Andy Boswell said: ‘To my brother Dave. Thank you for all the laughs we had.

‘There was never a dull moment with you around, with your jokes and your unique way of looking at things. Until we meet again, tight lines.’

Close friend Ryan Hissey added: ‘Bozzy was such a massive character, he left an impression on everybody he met.

‘Whether it was showing you a picture of a fish he’d caught, which was rare, joking around or singing Oasis at the top of his voice, you always knew he was around.

‘He will be greatly missed. Love you David.’

An aerial view of the enormous factory fire on Juno drive in Leamington Spa (Picture: Tristan Potter/SWNS)

Detective Superintendent, Jon Marsden, from Warwickshire Police, said: ‘We appreciate how hard this is for David’s family and friends, and our thoughts remain with them.

‘They continue to be supported and updated by specially trained officers.

‘Due to unstable chemicals and several hotspots in the building, until now it has been unsafe for search teams to enter the site.

‘The fire brigade has worked extremely hard to resolve these problems and I can confirm that as of September 6 the site has been handed over to police.

‘We will be working with structural engineers and demolition experts to ensure the building is safe to enter, allowing us to commence our search.

‘Unfortunately, this is still likely to take some time but it is important we ensure the safety of the search and investigation teams before they enter the site.

‘We would ask that the privacy of David’s family is respected at this very difficult time.’

One local said she saw ‘clouds of smoke bigger than anything I’ve seen before’ (Picture: Tristan Potter/SWNS)

Homes within 100 meters of the factory were evacuated when the fire broke out and other residents nearby were warned to stay inside with windows and door shut.

Locals described the aftermath as being like a scene from ‘a disaster movie. Apocalyptic stuff’.

Shehnaz Khan, who lives about a mile away, described at the time how she ‘popped into the garden, looked up and (saw) clouds of smoke bigger than anything I’ve seen before in Leamington’.

She added: ‘There’s so much smoke, honestly… it just looks like it’s gone all the way up to the clouds.’

Images showed chunks of charred polyurethene strewn across residential streets, with residents warned not to touch or try to move them.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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