Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
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Incident Date: 24 October 2017
Wing Fat cash and carry fire – Gorton
3.30pm update (October 26)
Ashton Old Road has partially reopened for traffic ahead of the evening rush hour.
Two lanes have reopened heading out of town, with traffic heading into town on one lane near to the incident as work continues.
All staff have been accounted for, all customer cars have been collected and no-one has been reported missing but firefighters are still unable to enter the building due to it being dangerous.
Firefighters expect to continue to damp down and tackle hotspots overnight.
Electricity has been restored to nearby homes through a generator.
1.45pm update (October 26)
FIREFIGHTERS continue to work hard at the scene of the Wing Fat fire on Gorton Road.
Access has been improved to the building due to contractors removing as much of the roof as possible, enabling firefighters from an aerial platform to dampen down any hotspots.
The building is, however, still too dangerous for crews to enter.
Residents are able to return to their homes.
Work is progressing as fast as possible to help allow the road to be reopened before the evening rush hour – although this will be confirmed later today.
9.15am update (October 26)
Residents were able to return to their properties last night. Any other residents still looking to return should head to the scene and liaise with Greater Manchester Police there.
Ashton Old Road is still closed so please continue to find alternative routes for your journeys. Firefighters are working as hard as they can to get the road re-opened as soon as possible.
Demolition crews are on the scene to continue with the removal of the roof so that firefighters can better access the building and tackle the fire.
6.30pm update (October 25)
DEMOLITION contractors have begun removing the roof of Wing Fat cash and carry following a serious blaze at the warehouse on Gorton Road.
It’s thought that around 64 people were evacuated from their homes near to the building due to smoke from the fire, which started at 11.23am on Tuesday, October 24, 2017.
On Wednesday afternoon (October 25), residents were still unable to return to their properties until further assessments were carried out and the properties could be deemed safe.
At the height of the blaze 12 fire engines, a number of specialist units and around 60 firefighters were tackling the fire using jets and aerial appliances.
Group Manager Paul Duggan, who was in charge of the incident on Wednesday afternoon, said: “Until this afternoon fire crews have been unable to access the building due to it being unsafe because of a partial roof collapse but we now have demolition contractor removing the roof, which means firefighters will be able to access and extinguish the remaining pockets of fire. We will continue to do this into the evening until dark and then start again in the morning.
“Roads surrounding the building remain closed including Ashton Old Road and at the moment it is unclear when the roads will be reopened – we understand this is frustrating and inconvenient and we are working with partners to minimise disruption and get the roads open as soon as possible.
“We have been monitoring the smoke plume which has now dissipated and we hope that we will be able to let residents back into their homes soon, although we can’t say for certain when that will be.
“In the meantime, fire crew from Gorton Fire Station have been visiting residents at the Grange centre which has been set up as a rest centre for evacuated residents to provide updates and information to support them.”
All staff at the warehouse have been accounted and it is not believed there is anyone inside but until fire crew are able to do a full search of the building they cannot confirm everyone is accounted for.
The cause of the fire is unknown at this stage.
All residents affected should gather at the Grange Community Centre, Pilgrim Drive, for updates and should continue to avoid the scene of the fire. The Manchester City Council call centre hotline for information is 0161 234 5001.
For further updates please follow @manchesterfire
Advice from Public Health England
· Residents in areas affected by the smoke should stay indoors, keep their doors and windows closed, and follow @manchesterfire for advice and information.
· Motorists who have to travel through the smoke should keep windows closed, turn off air conditioning and keep their air vents closed.
· It’s important that local residents understand that the risks to their health are low, however because any smoke is an irritant, it can make people’s eyes and throat sore.
· People with asthma and other respiratory conditions may be particularly susceptible to the smoke and should carry and use their medication (such as inhalers) as usual. The general advice therefore remains that if possible people should try to remain out of the smoke. If you have any concerns about the smoke’s impact on your health please call your GP surgery for advice, following any instructions for out of hours services, or contact the NHS 111 service (which is free from both landlines and mobiles and open 24/7).
8.45am update (October 25)
Ashton Old Road remains closed because there is still lots of smoke and the traffic lights are out. Please find alternative routes for your journeys today. Hyde Road is facing heavier traffic because of this incident.
Three fire appliances are still at the scene, but because the roof has collapsed the building is difficult and unsafe for crews to enter. A demolition contractor is set to remove the roof to provide better access for firefighters to tackle the remaining small pockets of fire in the fire and explosions caused by gas cylinders in the building.
It’s still too early to determine any cause of the fire.
Police, fire service and local authority are having a meeting later today to sample the air quality in the area and determine whether it is safe for nearby residents to return to their homes.
Please keep checking @manchesterfire on Twitter for updates.
5.30pm update (October 24)
Advice to residents
Residents who live at numbers 405 – 423 Ashton Old Road, as well as in Blocks 1 and 2 of Synergy Flats at 425 Ashton Old Road, will not be able to return to their properties tonight due to continued smoke from the fire.
Anyone affected should attempt stay with friends and family - but if that’s not possible a rest centre has been set up for anybody without anywhere to stay at:
The Grange Community Resource Centre
All other properties in the area are safe to return to.
Firefighters will be stationed at the rear of Campbell House, Ashton Old Road to support residents with any concerns they have.
Eight fire engines are still at the incident fighting the fire, with some crews remaining overnight.
4.30pm update (October 24)
Flames and smoke continue to be battled by firefighters at Wing Fat cash and carry in Gorton.
As there is still smoke from the fire residents are still asked to keep doors and windows closed.
Due to the damage caused firefighters are unable to enter the building yet.
Officers at the scene are continually assessing the incident to see whether roads can be reopened, but ask for motorists to carry on avoiding the area.
Due to crews fighting the fire local residents may experience a drop in water pressure – follow United Utilities on Twitter for updates.
Find an update Incident Commander Tony Bryan gave to local media, including the MEN and Key 103, below:
3.30pm update (October 24)
Firefighters are still on the scene at Wing Fat cash and carry in Gorton and are using one air unit, two aerial platforms, two jets and four breathing apparatus to fight the fire.
The plume of smoke from the fire has significantly reduced but residents are still asked to keep doors and windows closed.
Ashton Old Road continues to be closed and motorists are asked to avoid the area and plan ahead for their journeys.
1pm update (October 24)
Firefighters are fighting a large fire at Wing Fat cash and carry warehouse on Gorton Road, Manchester.
About 60 firefighters from 12 crews (Gorton, Philips Park, Manchester Central, Moss Side, Agecroft, Salford and Ashton) along with aerial units from Whitehill and Manchester Central, the technical rescue unit and enhanced rescue unit from Ashton and command units from Rochdale and Whitehill are working hard at scene.
The surrounding buildings have been evacuated due to the size of the fire and the large amount of smoke in the area.
Crews are using an aerial appliance, two jets and eight breathing apparatus to fight the fire.
All staff at the shop have been accounted for.
All motorists are advised to plan their journeys and avoid the area, including those wishing to attend the Manchester City game this evening.
Nearby residents are advised to keep their doors and windows closed.
12.30pm update (October 24)
AT 11.23am eight crews were called to reports of a fire on Gorton Road, Manchester.
On arrival crews found a fire on the roof and first floor of a commercial building.
Due to a large amount of smoke in the area residents are advised to keep their doors and windows closed.
Residents are also asked to avoid the area and not to use the roads nearby – especially Gorton Road and Ashton Old Road.