Firefighters still at the scene of major blaze in Smethwick
Crews were still on site today following a major blaze at a car garage in Smethwick.
Around 50 firefighters fought the blaze in the Doal Trading Estate, in Rolfe Street, yesterday, which left the garage severely damaged.
But two crews remained at the scene this afternoon to ensure the building was safe and damping down any hot spots on site, while Rolfe Street remained closed to traffic.
Matt Ling, station commander for Smethwick fire station, said it was hoped the road would be reopened by Thursday evening and their aim was to get all the businesses in the area back up and running as soon as possible.
VIDEO: Dramatic footage shows the garage fire
He added that he expected crews to be on site till at least Thursday evening at the earliest.
A structural engineer had been on site to assess the damage to the building and its safety for members of the public. The building was severely damaged in the fire, with the roof of the garage partially collapsing.
An investigation is underway to find the cause of the fire, which is not thought to be suspicious at this stage.
Mr Ling said: "On Thursday afternoon, we still had two crews in attendance in Rolfe Street ensuring the safety of the public as well as damping down the site for any hot spots.
"We have been liaising with the local authority structural engineer around opening Rolfe Street back up which was still closed yesterday morning.
"The surveyors are assessing the stability of the building affected, and those adjoining.
"The asbestos on the floor will be cleared. But there is no risk to members of the public for asbestos now.
"Wednesday was a really good example of crews quick reaction times of under three minutes, assertive firefighting to prevent spread and contain the fire to one single unit.
"We started to scale down the incident at 6pm on Wednesday and by around 10pm there were only three crews left on site. This was reduced to two on Thursday.
"We are working with local businesses to get them back up and running. We managed to open a few businesses up on Thursday – but we are working with all of them affected to get them back in business as soon as possible.
"We don't believe the fire was started deliberately, but investigations are still on-going and there is no cause at the moment."
Black smoke from the blaze rose high into the sky for several hours on Wednesday and could be seen as far as Edgbaston Cricket Ground.
Residents and nearby industrial units, warehouses and factories were evacuated as a half-mile cordon was put in place by police around the street.
One person was treated at the scene by West Midlands Ambulance Service for minor injuries, but was not taken to hospital.