Fire at Maldon heating firm raises asbestos fears

Some 200 people have been moved from their homes

after a fire at a warehouse containing heating equipment in Essex.
Firefighters are maintaining a 100m (325ft) exclusion zone due to 10 acetylene gas canisters at the site in Galliford Road in Maldon.
The residents whose homes have been evacuated are being looked after at two reception centres in Heybridge and Maldon.
Firefighters are now damping down hotspots and cooling the cylinders.
Fears asbestos had been released in to the surrounding area led police to advise residents living close to the fire to keep their windows closed.
The evacuees are being looked after by Maldon district council staff and volunteers at Plantation Hall and Upper Plume School.
A council spokesman said all debris should be left for the Environment Agency or Fire Services to clear once the fire had been contained.
Assistant divisional officer Terry Povey from Essex Fire and Rescue said: “Firefighters have worked excellently tackling the fire at the warehouse today and preventing it from spreading to neighbouring business premises.”
A 100 metre hazard zone will remain in place for the next 24 hours.
The fire service and police have launched a joint investigation into how the fire started.