Residents living near the scene of a huge fire have been urged to stay indoors due to smoke pollution – as a rest centre was set up for evacuees.
The blaze broke out an industrial unit in Park Street, Kidderminster, just before 3pm today (Wednesday) which could be seen for miles around.
Firefighters from Hereford and Worcester Fire & Rescue Service [HWFRS] will remain there overnight, its chief fire officer said.
A rest centre has been set up for residents who were forced to evacuate their homes but had no alternative accommodation overnight.
Meanwhile, Public Health England has asked people in areas “affected by smoke” to stay indoors and keep doors and windows closed. Motorists have been told the same.
A spokesman for Public Health England West Midlands said: “People in areas affected by smoke from the fire in Kidderminster should stay indoors, keep doors and windows closed and check local radio, online information and advice.
“Motorists should keep windows closed, turn off air con and keep air vents closed.”
Jon Pryce, chief fire officer at HWFRS, said the blaze happened in “multiple large industrial buildings” at the scene.
He said crews will remain there overnight to minimise disruption, adding: “Please stay away from the area.”
At this stage it is not believed there are any casualties.
The rescue centre has been opened up at Wyre Forest House, located on Finepoint Way in Kidderminster.
But people who have Covid-19 – or symptoms of the virus – have been told not to attend and instead should “make alternative arrangements” or contact homelessness support, a Wyre Forest District Council spokesman said.
The spokesman said: “We’ve opened a rest centre at Wyre Forest House following a large fire in Park Street, Kidderminster.
“Some homes have been evacuated and our rest centre is available for anyone from these areas who does not have alternative accommodation. We are here to help.
“Anyone who has Covid-19 or has symptoms should not attend the rest centre.
“They will need to make alternative arrangements or call our out-of-hours emergency homelessness number 01562 850053.
“For information on how to find Wyre Forest House, visit wyreforestdc.gov.uk.”