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Birmingham Resilience Team responds to warehouse fire

Officers from Birmingham Resilience Team spent the night at a warehouse fire in Birmingham on 27th May as a thick black plume of smoke rose from near Birmingham city centre.

The resilience team were alerted to a large black plume of smoke rising across the city centre shortly after 7pm.  An emergency planning officer was immediately dispatched to the scene to support the emergency services.

West Midlands Police closed a number of roads in the area whilst firefighters tackled the fire.  Most of the area around the incident was industrial and there were few residential properites, however any residents in the area affected by the smoke were advised (following fire service advice) to keep windows and doors closed.  Birmingham City Council sent out Birmingham Community Alert messages to members of the public who had registered in the local area and also worked with the Police to manage road closures with barriers and signage.

The fire service confirmed the factory contained asbestos and therefore this extended the clear up operation.  Birmingham City Council dispatched specialist contractors to clear debris off the main A34 (Newtown Row) in order to ensure this road was operational by the morning.  A city council structural surveyor was also at the scene assisting the fire service with their assessment of the building.  There was no risk to the public from the asbestos, which was well contained within the site.

The fire service have remained on site throughout the evening and Birmingham Resilience Team remained on site until 1:30am to co-ordinate the clean up operation and assist the emergency services.   Some roads were able to be re-opened and no residential properties were affected.  The city council had emergency accommodation on standby, should it have been required.

Work continued throughout the night and has continued into the following morning with continued assessments of the building and the continued damping down of the factory by the fire service.

The main A34 (Newtown Row) was re-opened but some local roads (Cecil Street/Lower Tower Street) remained closed.

Demolition work has been conducted by the owners of the site in conjunction with Birmingham City Council building officers.

Ed Whitton, Partnership Emergency Planning Manager said, “This incident demonstrated the important role the resilience team undertakes in responding to emergencies in Birmingham.  We were able to put into place very quickly a number of arrangements, firstly to provide support to the emergency services and then to get the area back to normal.”

 

Picture from Birmingham Post and Mail

Picture from Birmingham Post and Mail

 

Photo from http://twitpic.com/1rllz9  "trilby"

Photo from http://twitpic.com/1rllz9 "trilby"

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