Council clear-up asbestos after fire

Asbestos is being cleaned on a Black Country industrial estate following a factory unit fire.

The affected building left charred and damaged following the fire
The affected building left charred and damaged following the fire

A dedicated team run by Wolverhampton council is carrying out the operation in Heath Town after a fire at an industrial estate on Alma Street.

The blaze, which took over Monday (02) night, left one building gutted which contained Christmas decorations. Another three were affected by gas, electricity or water, watch commander Elton Tuitt said.

Flames burst out from the roof and smoke was sent billowing into the sky. People were told to keep windows and doors closed as acrid smoke blew across high-rise flats and homes.

A spokesman for Wolverhampton council said the clean-up, being led by Wolverhampton Homes, was to ensure there was no 'significant' risk to the public.

“The City of Wolverhampton Council has been working closely with the emergency services and the property's owners following Monday night's factory fire," said John Denley, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Director of Public Health.

“Our structural engineers were on site yesterday (Tuesday) providing technical advice to West Midlands Fire Service on the structural integrity of the building, and we are now supporting the owners to guide them through the next steps with regard to the site.

“Meanwhile, Wolverhampton Homes' asbestos team have also been on site carrying out a clean-up of the car park and the adjoining canal towpath, and this work is continuing.

"I’d like to reassure people that fires involving materials containing asbestos are not uncommon and by ensuring appropriate clean-up procedures are followed, as we are doing here, it will not pose a significant risk to members of the public.”

West Midlands Fire Service was called to the blaze at 9.40pm on Monday.

The blaze was extinguished by 2.40am Tuesday morning, around five hours later, said a West Midlands Fire Service spokesman.

The extent of the fire saw 60 firefighters on the scene while the blaze took hold.

On Tuesday, Alma Street was cordoned off for public safety as firefighters continued to tackle small pockets of fire.

Western Power Distribution and Cadent Gas were also on the scene.

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