These pictures show the full extent of the damage to a warehouse that was hit by a huge fire yesterday.
The twisted and charred remains of Pandora’s Upholstery business on the Wenlock Way industrial estate, off Thurmaston Lane, bore testament to the ferocity of the blaze.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Residents and employees were asked to stay indoors and urged to keep windows shut as the blaze engulfed the 5,000-square foot building which is the base of an online fabrics retailing business employing 10 people.
The senior officer in charge of the firefighting operation and subsequent investigation into its cause today reassured people they were at no risk from the low level asbestos contained in the roof which was destroyed in the blaze.
Station manager Wayne Gale said: “The roof is low level asbestos sheeting, it’s quite common in buildings of this age and when it’s involved in fire there is a minor risk and we take precautions.
“Yesterday, we issued statements jointly with the police and EMAS and Public Health England.
“They were just to keep windows and doors closed within the vicinity and in the smoke plume.
“We did regular checks of the smoke plume to make sure debris wasn’t falling on people’s properties and houses, which it wasn’t and it was contained within our cordon in this area.
“I am 100 per cent happy there was no risk to anyone in the immediate or wider area.
“We took precautions, we did some checks, all our firefighters were decontaminated as per our procedures and we were 100 per cent happy that there was no risk.”
The business, which sells curtains and upholstery online and has been there 10 years, insists it will continue.
A company statement said: “No-one was hurt, that is the main thing. The firefighters did all they could, they were fantastic.”
The firefighting operation contained the blaze to the unit, which is surrounded by other units, including neighbouring SRM Electrical, just feet away, which suffered some minor damage.
SRM branch manager Kevin Wallace, said: “I was alerted by the alarm company at home.
“I live about have an hour away and brought my nine-year-old daughter, Freya, with me as I thought it would just be a quick check and away again.
“We were amazed when we arrived to find this massive fire fighting operation going on. Freya couldn’t believe it and didn’t want to go home.
“I can’t praise the firefighters enough, they saved the building. They were very informative and very helpful and they made a fuss of Freya, giving her drinks and biscuits, they were fantastic.
“There’s a bit of minor damage, but it could have been much worse. It’s just nice to know no-one died and no-one was hurt.”
Station manager Gale added: “The crews that first arrived were confronted with a fast-developing fire.
“They tried to stop the fire developing. Unfortunately, they couldn’t do that, we had to go to defensive fire fighting.
“We used seven fire-fighting appliances, two aerial ladder platforms and a water carrier to contain the fire to stop it spreading to other buildings which are in close proximity to the building involved.
“There was some slight damage to the building to the right but in general we did a good job and managed to stop it spreading.”
He added: “We’ve just started the investigation. At this stage we’re unsure as to how the fire started.
“There’s no police investigation at this time, just the fire service.
“We’re still damping down hotspots as well, liaising with the council and with the owners.”