Asbestos scare after store fire

A massive fire sparked safety concerns after it ripped through a Spalding cold store on Tuesday evening

Smoke could be seen from miles around from the blaze at West End Cold Stores, Horseshoe Road, which took emergency services two hours to bring under control.

Emergency services were called at 6.18pm and fought to contain the flames as they spread through packaging and potatoes in the warehouse.

Fire crews from Spalding, Holbeach, Crowland, Donington, Yaxley and Dogsthorpe were involved as well as police and ambulance.

Initial concerns over environmental damage from the collapsed asbestos roof were alleviated by the East Midlands Health Protection Agency.

None of the asbestos was carried in the smoke to nearby properties and the only risk was to firefighters at the scene. No-one was injured. The fire was caused by an electrical fault.

The company employs 14 full-time staff and around 30 labourers, several of whom were in a nearby building when the fire started.

Principal director Aubrey Tasker was one of them and he said the company would be trying to store its produce in other warehouses on the site.

He added: "We are trying to find ways around it. It's more of a frustration and hassle than anything, and the aim is not to let it disrupt the business and have any permanent effects.

"The main thing is that no-one was injured."

Witness Audrey Fletcher, of Horseshoe Road, said: "All we heard was a loud bang when the roof collapsed. There weren't sparks, just smoke, because that warehouse is shielded by other buildings

"The emergency services were very effective and told us to keep our windows and doors shut."