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Fire on Hoo Farm industrial estate remains significant incident

News release issued:

Issued on behalf of Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, the UK Health Security Agency and other Local Resilience Forum partners.

The fire at Kidderminster’s Hoo Farm Industrial Estate remains a significant incident for the multi-agency responders involved in tackling the blaze and providing advice and support to the public.

Although activity has been scaled back, there are still six fire engines in place at the scene in addition to two aerial ladder platforms and other specialist vehicles.

Roads have now reopened in the area, with the exception of some on the Hoo Farm Industrial Estate itself. The site has been fenced off to prevent public injury, as members of Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service dismantle the former Midland Carpet Distributors’ building on Frederick Road. This work could cause more smoke for a short time and is likely to raise dust in the immediate area. Members of the public are asked to stay away from the site as the building is now unstable and strong winds are forecast, which could give rise to more flying debris.

Group Commander Sam Pink from Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service said: “We would like to thank our neighbouring fire services in Shropshire, Staffordshire and West Midlands as well as all of our other partners for their support.

“We would also like to thank the community for their support and patience during this incident.”

Sarah Smith, Health Protection Consultant with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) in the West Midlands, said: “People in areas affected by smoke and dust from the fire on the Hoo Farm Industrial Estate in Kidderminster should stay indoors, and keep external doors and windows closed. Motorists who have to travel through the smoke should keep car windows closed, turn off air conditioning and keep air vents closed, to prevent smoke entering the car. If people need to be outdoors, avoid or limit time spent in the area affected by smoke, ash and debris.

“Substances in smoke can worsen health problems like asthma and heart conditions – so people should be sure to carry their medication if in an area affected by the smoke or dust from the fire. Any smoke can be an irritant and can affect airways, the skin and eyes and cause coughing, wheezing, breathlessness and chest pain. If you have been affected by smoke or dust from the fire and have concerns, please get medical advice by contacting NHS111 online or by calling 111.”

Jon Fraser from Highways at Worcestershire County Council added: “The multiagency response, to manage this situation and keep people in the area safe, has been phenomenal. I’d like to thank, on behalf of Worcestershire County Council, emergency responders and all those involved so far, and in the coming days, the for their tremendous efforts.

“Our Highways Team has supported the response and all roads around the site are now open.

“The site will remain unsafe and the roads around the site will need to be kept clear for the recovery work to begin so please do not attempt to visit the site in the coming days. There is likely to be some further noise and dust, but this will not present a significant risk to residents’ health. 

“Residents should continue to follow UKHSA advice.”

Due to ventilation requirements required for buildings to be COVID-19 secure, Kidderminster College and a number of schools in the area have closed temporarily. Schools closed for onsite learning on 7 December: Foley Park Community Primary School, St John’s CE Primary School, St Oswald’s CE Primary School, Sutton Park Community Primary School in Kidderminster; and Wilden All Saints’ CE Primary School in Stourport-on-Severn. These schools have provided remote learning for pupils. Education establishments will be making a further assessment of when it is appropriate to reopen, please check on individual school websites for specific information.   

Information on schools and other updates related to the fire are available from the Wyre Forest District Council website: https://www.wyreforestdc.gov.uk/hoofarmfire

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