Asbestos was released into
the air in Coventry last night after arsonists set fire to a store
at a clothing company.
The building at Astley’s
in Gosford Street was ignited around 7.30pm. Seven fire crews from
Coventry, Birmingham and Solihull were called.
believed that the building was used to store asbestos. It was
later discovered that boards with asbestos fibre were contained in
Because of the health risk
residents in an old people’s home were told to stay indoors and
close their windows.
Many of the fire crew had
to wear breathing apparatus and chemical protection suits, which
had to be de-contaminated later.
ADO Jim Onions of West
Midlands Fire Service said the crews, who were at the scene for
over 12 hours, used their training to make sure the asbestos
“We had to use enough
water to stop the dust rising, but to too much so it didn’t
have to wash the asbestos down the drains.
“There was a lot of
smoke and the asbestos meant we had to be very careful.”
No-one was injured during
the blaze, but ADO Onions confirmed that the fire had been started
Cllr Dave Nellist
(Socialist, St Michael’s) said he had asked for a report on the
levels of asbestos that has escaped into the atmosphere in case
his constituents in the ward needed health or safety advice.
Anyone with information
about the fire should call police on 024 7653 9010 or
Crimestopppers on 0800 555111.