07 February 2012
A decontamination operation has begun following the discovery of asbestos at a vehicle workshop in the Cheapside area of St Helier, which was damaged by fire on Friday 3 February.
The Fire and Rescue Service's Incident Commander has liaised with police to ensure that all members of the public living in the close vicinity have been asked not to touch any debris that may have fallen onto their property. Following further inspection of the site, it has also been agreed that the Health Protection Unit will coordinate a multi-agency approach to cleaning up the immediate area.
The Fire and Rescue Service’s Hazardous Materials Officer, Martin Allix, said: “Asbestos is a silent killer, there are no whizzes or bangs, it's not obvious and doesn't affect people instantly, so is often ignored. Its danger is in the longer term effects that it can cause people who are exposed to it. It is important that anyone finding fire debris in their garden or around the area of Cheapside leave it alone and inform either the Parish Hall or the Health Protection Unit, who will arrange for its safe removal.”
The Fire and Rescue Service personnel who attended the scene of the fire, together with the equipment that they used, were decontaminated at the scene and on return to fire headquarters.