Wolverhampton blaze: Traders' business suffers and debris falls into gardens

After the blaze that tore through factory units in Wolverhampton was finally extinguished on Thursday, nearby businesses have spoken about how the fire has affected them.

A major incident was declared
A major incident was declared

The first calls reporting a "50-foot blaze" in Lower Horseley Fields, were received by West Midlands Fire Service at around 9pm on Monday.

The fire that followed - which investigators have since said they believe was started deliberately - consumed and destroyed several derelict and occupied warehouses in the area.

With police roadblocks stopping traffic passing through the industrial estate on Thursday, businesses around the area began to feel the effect of diverted traffic and late deliveries.

Roads were still closed on Thursday after the huge fire in Wolverhampton, off Lower Horseley Fields

Steve Phillips, the owner of Interplumb on Willenhall Road, talked about the lack of customers. He said: "Normally we have a good few customers by now, but I've hardly had a customer all day.

"The road blockage is adding around 10 to 20 minutes in rush hour, the 'tradies' don't have that time on their hands, so they go somewhere that is more convenient and faster for them."

Mr Phillips added: "It has affected my bottom line for the last few days, I am supposed to break up Friday but we shall see."

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Debris from the fire has been thrown around the area, with a lot of it landing on gardens, forecourts and building yards.

Dal Singh, the owner of Bargain Vans Ltd on Willenhall Road, said: "I had to clean all the vans again after the fire. It's really lucky it didn't spread to the nearby buildings as well.

"It has been chaos getting to work this morning, with all the diverted traffic in the area it's like gridlock."

Aerial photographs taken by Express & Star photographer Tim Thursfield reveal the true extent of the fire in Lower Horseley Fields, Wolverhampton

One York Street resident who lives within a few streets of the fire talked about how her garden is "littered" with fallen debris and possibly asbestos.

She said: "We had so much fallout and smoke from the fire, I know my garden is full of ash and bits of the roof from when it was going on.

"We don't know what it was, but it looks like asbestos so we don't want to touch it. If it's asbestos we don't want to mess with it."

A staff member from Wolverhampton Signs, on Commercial Road, said: "We haven't really had any issues with business so far, but we have had a bit of debris fall around.

"Some of the looks like asbestos, we don't want to mess with it as it can be quite dangerous."

The investigation into the cause of the fire continues.

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