Firefighters Tackle Blaze At Potentially Hazardous Derelict Factory
Expert industrial disease lawyers have called for public safety to remain a priority after residents were told to stay indoors while 50 fire fighters battled a blaze at an old asbestos factory in Rochdale.
The fire at the former Turner and Newall site on Rooley Moor Road, Spotland, broke out shortly before 3am today (Friday, 15 February 2013) and was finally brought under control around 8.30am.
People living nearby, particularly those on Fallowfield Drive, were advised by the Greater Manchester Fire Service to keep their doors and windows closed and not make any unnecessary journeys.
Paul Etches from GMFRS said: "The fire is now under control and we've been working with the local authority and health agencies and the advice remains the same but is limited only to those in the immediate vicinity of Fallowfield Drive.
"There should be minimal disruption to residents, schools and businesses but crews will remain on the scene throughout the day damping down."
Geraldine Coombs, a partner and industrial disease expert at law firm Irwin Mitchell’s Manchester office, said: “Public safety always needs to be a priority particularly when it comes to those living in close proximity to potentially harmful fumes from old asbestos factories like Turner and Newall.
“It’s reassuring to know that the fire service advised local residents to stay inside and to shut their windows and doors to prevent them breathing in any potentially dangerous fumes from the factory fire because we see too often the devastating impact asbestos-related illnesses can have on people’s lives.
“We would now welcome any investigations into how the fire happened and how the remnants of the factory can be made as safe as possible to prevent other incidents like this in future.”
The Turner and Newall site - formerly one of the largest asbestos factories in the world - is one of the most controversial derelict sites in Greater Manchester.
In 2011, Rochdale Council blocked plans to bulldoze the site and build hundreds of homes amid safety fears.