Asbestos air warning during warehouse blaze

Blaze at old hangar in Dromore. Aug 30
Blaze at old hangar in Dromore. Aug 30

Police circulated a warning to householders in Dromore Co Down about asbestos in the air during a fire in the town centre.

The Fire Service was called to a fire in a large storage warehouse on Moss Lane just before 9pm on Thursday.

Blaze at old hangar in Dromore

Blaze at old hangar in Dromore

Four pumping appliances from Dromore, Banbridge, Lurgan and Lisburn and a high reach aerial appliance from Springfield in Belfast attended the blaze with 28 firefighters.

Station Commander David Harbinson said: “People on site had indicated that there could be asbestos and our local knowledge [also] indicated that there possibly could be, so we did put mitigating measures into place in terms of protecting our firefighters wearing breathing apparatus.

“We also worked in close collaboration with the police in making sure that the public were made aware of the asbestos within the air. And we had also notified the environment agency of any potential water run off from the incident.

“The PSNI put out warnings locally just to say to people to keep their doors and windows closed and not to be coming close to the vicinity of the fire.”

The asbestos risk disappeared once the incident was brought to an end, he said.

“Once the incident was brought to a conclusion then the risk from the asbestos was removed and to be honest, with the way the wind was blowing the height of the smoke, it really was a precautionary measure on our part, just to give people a warning and really just to not to be coming close to the scene. We had controlled the scene through a cordon which was maintained for us by the police.”

There were no injuries to the public or firefighters, he added, but there was “a fair bit of damage” to the building.