Update - fire at Alcohols Ltd, Oldbury

All fires at the scene are now extinguished and dealt with, but two West Midlands Fire Service fire engines and a hydraulic platform remain on site, keeping a watching brief - that’s about 20 firefighters.

A reduced cordon remains in place, affecting around 20 properties in the Crosswells Road and Hall Street area. Members of the public with housing-related concerns should call Sandwell Homes on 0121 569 6000.

A structural engineer will this morning (Tuesday 27 November) be assessing what remains of the building, and whether or not it needs to be demolished. The opening of roads which remain closed will also depend on this assessment.

The exact cause of the fire is still being looked into by our expert investigation team. However, at this stage, it appears that it started when chemicals were being transferred from large tanks outside the main building to smaller drums, which were also outside.

Part of our operation overnight involved managing and isolating the flow of chemicals from outside the building to the inside, where they were burning, and keeping the large tanks cool.

In terms of houses and vehicles parked nearby, a number were affected by the fire and radiated heat, which has caused damage to things such as front doors, windows and fascias. Some of these were 20-30m away from the fire, which gives an idea of the heat generated.

Clip 1 - Footage from West Midlands Police Helicopter
Clip 2 - Footage from West Midlands Police Helicopter
Clip 3 - Footage from West Midlands Police Helicopter

With thanks to @WMP_Helicopter

Ends

Issued by Neil Spencer, Senior Media Relations Officer, West Midlands Fire Service, tel 0121 380 6101. On Twitter we're @WestMidsFire.

Press Release Date: 
Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 10:00