England: The Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (one of the largest FRS in the U.K.) remains on the scene after battling a large, fully involved, paper mill fire in Oldham.
The old Maple Mill is in Caldwell Street; no persons are reported to have been inside at this point. The large, abandoned, paper mill was generating heat that could be felt half a kilometre away.
GM Police, NWAST Paramedics, Council and health authorities activated a major incident response as toxic smoke settles over residential areas.
Update 6am AEST 16/12/2016
Latest updates from GMFRS issued at (4.25PM local time):
OVER 70 firefighters are still tackling the blaze at Maple Mill, 11 hours after it began in the early hours of this morning.
Crew are fighting the fire from the outside of the mill, following on from a serious collapse of part of the building earlier today.
GMFRS is working with building control officers and demolition contractors to assess the safety and demolish parts of the building.
Area Manager Tony Hunter, is currently in charge of the fire, said: “Our number one priority at the moment is to get local residents who have been evacuated back into their homes.
“There is still a mass of smoke across the area which is being monitored, we are advising everyone to stay indoors with their windows and doors closed.
“There is a small chance that people may have been sleeping inside this building when the fire started, but the fire has been too intense for crew to search the property safely.
“Once the remains of the building have been made safe, we will be in the position to investigate further.”
Around 28 fire service vehicles including fire engines and special appliances are still at the scene tackling the blaze.
Updated 7:30pm AEST 15/12/2016
As dawn breaks in England, the fire has spread to some tyres and dangerous smoke is enveloping local structures. Approximately 100 properties have been evacuated and residents advised to shut doors and windows.
The GMFRS said via Twitter:
- Nearby properties are being evacuated. No firefighters are entering the building, attacking the fire from outside
- A major incident has been declared at Oldham mill fire – all agencies including North West Ambulance Service Trust and the Greater Manchester Police are on scene
- About 70 firefighters are now on the scene in #Oldham of fire at paper mill – nearby residents being told to keep windows and doors closed
All photos courtesy of GMFRS.