Oldbury fire update: New asbestos worry for residents

Halesowen News: The Oldbury fire on Monday The Oldbury fire on Monday

THE revelation asbestos was burning in Monday’s giant Oldbury fire could spark another evacuation of houses around the destroyed distillery.

Sandwell Council have confirmed investigations are being undertaken into the effect of asbestos being burnt in the roof of the Alcohols Ltd building.

Some families are still unable to return home after the giant blaze but there are worries residents who have been allowed back in will have to leave again due to the asbestos.

Cars were damaged, windows melted and fixtures and fittings outside houses surrounding the Hall Street factory were burnt due to the ferocity of the blaze, which was started due to the movement of chemicals.

A Sandwell Council spokesman said: “Some residents remain unable to access their properties at Crosswells Road, Hall Street and Trident Drive; “The police, contractors and surveyors will decide when the residents will be allowed back in to their homes;”

“The low grade Asbestos in the roof in the burned out building has affected properties in Crosswells Road and Hall Street and it is being assessed by Coleman's Construction now.”

The spokesman added: “Residents may need to be moved back out of their property and some properties outside the cordon may be affected and are being inspected.”

West Midlands Police, West Midlands Fire, Sandwell Council, the Transport Police, Sandwell Homes and several other agencies all worked together to deal with the consequences of the fire which saw residents evacuated, trains stopped and roads closed.

Several of the properties damaged are owned by Trident Housing and it is currently assessing the damage.

Adam Willis, managing director of Alcohols Ltd, said: “We are indebted to the swift response of the emergency services for getting the fire under control. At this stage our thoughts are very much with all the residents who have been displaced by the fire and we are focussed on working with the emergency services and council to ensure that the site is safe, power can be restored and people can return to their houses.”

One man in his 20s is being treated at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital for burns sustained in the fire which began on Monday at 10am.

The helpline for concerned residents is 0121 569 5152.

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