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People warned to stay indoors after fire at Arklow warehouse releases asbestos

Residents reported asbestos landing on cars in the area for hours after the fire.

GARDAÍ IN ARKLOW have warned people to remain indoors following a fire at a warehouse that resulted in asbestos being released into the air.

The fire happened shortly after 10am at a warehouse on South Quay, and plumes of smoke could be seen over the town.

Arklow-fire Source: William O'Toole

Local gardaí also advised students from a nearby secondary school to remain indoors and keep windows closed.

“Asbestos is a dangerous material and due to the size of the building, we have advised residents to remain in doors and keep windows closed,” they said.

‘An inferno’

A worker in the area reported hearing a loud explosion before the building caught fire.

I heard a loud bang and when I looked up it was on fire. It took off quickly and it was like an inferno.

Units of Arklow, Bray, Wicklow and Rathdrum fire brigades raced to the scene and the area was cordoned off as pieces of asbestos landed on the ground.

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Asbestos Asbestos Source: William O'Toole

Residents reported asbestos landing on cars in the area for hours after the fire. The fire was brought under control at 4pm, but emergency services remain at the scene which is still closed.

A spokesperson for Wicklow’s fire service said they are monitoring the situation closely.

“The HSE and EPA were notified of the fire due to the fact that the warehouse is constructed from asbestos. Fire crews are currently monitoring the situation and are damping down the scene.”

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About the author:

William O'Toole

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