Just after 9 pm on 5 December 2022, we were called to a large fire said to involve a derelict factory at Lower Horseley Fields, Wolverhampton.
The entire factory, measuring approximately 15m x 30m, is involved in the fire.
Four fire engines initially responded. Our response was quickly increased due to the scale of the fire, and we now have more than 20 of our appliances in attendance. Two hydraulic platforms are also being utilised as our crews continue to tackle the blaze.
Just after 10 pm, we declared this a major incident, due to the size of the incident and its proximity to the nearby railway line and houses.
If you live in the local area, please keep windows and doors closed.
We are working with other agencies, such as Police, Ambulance and Network Rail, as we continue to deal with this incident.
We can now confirm that this fire involves a number factory units, some of which contain active businesses, measuring a total of approximately 200m x 200m.
All nearby trains have been stopped.
Our crews are tackling the blaze from multiple angles, and we have more than 100 firefighters in attendance. Our High Volume Pumping Unit (HVP) is pumping water from a nearby canal.
A thermal imaging drone has been brought into use to provide us with an aerial view of the incident, helping inform operational decisions.
Efforts to tackle the fire continue, as crews work to create a fire break to prevent any further spread.
Due to the amount of smoke, an evacuation area is being developed for local residents. With help from Wolverhampton Council, transport is being arranged for residents to evacuate to two nearby leisure centres.
Crews have continued to fight the fire throughout the night. More than 30 of our appliances have been in attendance and as of this morning, we have five fire engines, two hydraulic platforms and two of our high volume water pumping units on scene.
We've worked closely with Police, Ambulance, and local authorities throughout the incident, with several multi-agency briefings taking place throughout the night.
Relief plans are being created as we look to draw the incident to a safe conclusion.
Road closures remain in place, and will for some time, as our resources require access in and out of the incident area. Lower Walsall Street, Lower Horseley Fields, and Colliery Road are all currently closed.
Around 50 firefighters remain in attendance at this incident. Two of our hydraulic platforms are still being used as we continue to make progress from multiple angles.
Our specialist hazardous materials advisors are in attendance to monitor the smoke plume.
Local roads will remain closed until tomorrow.
We suggest checking before you travel, as local train services may also remain affected for some time.
Our fire investigation team have began work to establish a cause.
Crews continue to work at the site and are expected to continue operations into the evening.
Five fire engines, two hydraulic platforms and our incident command unit will remain in place.
Road closures and rail disruption are expected to continue.
Investigations into the fire have started but are not expected to conclude for several days.
Good progress is being made. Currently five fire engines, two hydraulic platforms and our incident command unit remain in attendance.
Water is being drawn from a local canal as part of the operation.
We are working closely with Network Rail, Cadent engineers, West Midlands Police and Walsall Council. Multi-agency briefings have been taking place and a demolition plan is being created for the safe removal of a structurally unstable perimeter wall.
Road closures are to remain in place; gritters were requested and the road area has now been treated to prevent freezing as the temperature drops overnight.
Our drone team continue to aid in firefighting operations and our specialist hazardous materials advisors are monitoring the scene, supported by the Environment Agency.
Crews are still making good progress at this incident, damping down hotspots and ensuring scene safety.
Liaison with local agencies including West Midlands Police, Network Rail and Walsall Council is continuing to take place, with regular multi-agency briefings.
Fire service resources at the incident have been reduced to four fire engines and a single hydraulic platform. We expect this to continue overnight.
Previous road closures still remain in place. Rail travel has resumed, but with speed restrictions in the area, so some services may be affected. Please check with your rail operator regarding any delays.
Firefighting has ceased. Three fire crews at the scene, keeping a watching brief in case any hotspots flare up. Our investigators are also there.
Our investigators believe that the fire was started deliberately.
We will be making revisits to the scene for at least the next 24 hours, to ensure there are no further flare ups.
For the time being, Lower Walsall Street will remain closed and Lower Horseley Fields will be one-way into the city.
Please take extra care if you are travelling or walking in the area as, in spite of heavy gritting at the scene, nearby roads affected by water could remain very slippery.
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