Local residents are being advised to stay in their homes and keep the windows closed following a fire at a furniture factory in Bloxwich.
Fire crews from Bloxwich, Walsall, Willenhall and West Bromwich were called to the single storey brick building at D.F. Jones in Willenhall Lane after the fire broke out just after midday today.
The blaze caused the road to be closed in both directions between the Leamore Lane junction and the Fryers Road junction.
Five fire appliances and an hydraulic platform were called to the scene. Thankfully, no one was in the factory at the time of the blaze and there have been no reports of injuries.
West Midlands Fire Service have said that part of the building has collapsed. Gas and electricity supplies have been isolated by the utility companies.
West Midlands Fire Service also alerted Walsall Council’s pollution control officers as some cement asbestos material from the roof, believed to be a lower risk type, has blown over footpaths, roads and garden areas.
Specialist contractors are in the process of clearing this material away this evening and residents, who have all been given a letter of advice, will be told when it is safe to leave their properties.
Councillor Mike Bird, portfolio holder for Public Health with Walsall Council, said:
“I understand asbestos material from the roof of the factory has blown over footpaths, roads and garden areas.
“Officers have advised that this appears to be a lower risk type of asbestos which is commonly found in industrial-type buildings.
“We are asking residents to stay in their homes while this clean-up is carried out and expect it to be finished later this evening.”
The cause of the blaze has not yet been reported.
The Health Protection Agency is aware of the incident.Photo courtesy Bloxwich Old & New (click on photo to visit page)