THE fire service has responded to criticism over the availability of refreshments for firefighters tackling a massive shop blaze at the weekend.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said on Monday its welfare unit did attend the blaze at a B&M, near York to provide refreshments for exhausted firefighters.

The service was reacting to criticism of McDonald's staff for reportedly not offering free cups of tea and coffee to members of the emergency services as they fought the huge fire in Clifton Moor.

McDonald's has since apologised to firefighters for not offering free drinks.

The Northern Echo:

A spokesperson for North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service said: "The incident remains open at this time, and crews are conducting revisits to dampen down hotspots.

"Investigations into the cause of the fire are ongoing, and no cause has been established at this time.

"North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service has a welfare unit which provides refreshments to our firefighters at large incidents and this (welfare unit) did attend the incident at Clifton Moor, York on Saturday evening.

The Northern Echo:

"The service takes the welfare of staff at incidents seriously and does not have a policy of requesting free refreshments from other businesses.

"We would like to thank the members of the public and local businesses for their patience and assistance during this incident, particularly as we needed to close the A1237.

"There is a likely to be a smell of smoke in the area for some time, so local residents and businesses may still want to keep doors and windows closed."

Police confirmed no one was injured in the fire, and B&M confirmed all their staff from the branch were safe and thanked the emergency services for their help.

An investigation into the cause of the fire has begun.