Adam Bannister

Editor, IFSEC Global

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Adam Bannister is editor of IFSEC Global. A former managing editor at Dynamis Online Media Group, he has been at the helm of the UK's leading fire and security publication since 2014.
December 3, 2014

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Livelihoods Ruined as 100 Firefighters Battle Blaze on Surrey Industrial Estate

A fire that broke out on an industrial estate in Surrey led to the evacuation of nearby residents on Monday.

Residents, who were allowed to return to their homes at about 11:30am, were evacuated over concern about exposure to toxic fumes emitting from buildings containing chemicals.

Around 100 firefighters and 20 fire appliances have been called to the Renshaw Estate since the blaze erupted shortly after midnight.

“It has been necessary to put some precautionary measures in place, with a number of residents being evacuated to a local rest centre,” Surrey Fire and Rescue Service told media.

“The incident is likely to be protracted. Further advice will be issued when necessary if the incident develops. For the time being residents are advised to avoid the area, so emergency services can reach the scene.”

The fire’s cause remains unclear, but several businesses have been virtually destroyed by the fire, including Eggxactly Ltd, which appeared on Dragons’ Den in 2006.

Speaking to getSURREY, Keith Fox of Extem Engineering reflected on the devastation to his livelihood.

“It looks like our business has been extensively damaged and it’s definitely water damaged,” he said. “Most of the estate is gone. Twenty years of work down the drain.”

Local resident Naz Al-Ani told getSURREY that he heard a fire alarm late on Sunday night following by “two absolutely massive explosions. They literally made the house shake, they were that loud.”

Smethwick blaze

Two days later a West Midlands industrial estate also went up in flames.

Around 80 firefighters have been tackling the blaze at the Middlemore Industrial Estate in Smethwick, which stores clothes, electrical goods and stationary supplies, since early Tuesday morning.

A number of roads in the area were closed off, but no injuries have been reported yet, although Group Commander Nigel Soaden described the scene as “very dangerous”.

Many units on the estate have been badly damaged, he said, but fire crews had got the fire under control.

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