Asbestos to be removed after blaze at Devon cattle market
Asbestos is to be stripped out of the charred remains of a Westcountry cattle market.
More than 30 firefighters tackled a blaze at Hatherleigh Cattle Market which broke out early this morning.
Three fire crews from Okehampton and Hatherleigh were sent to the scene after the fire service received several calls reporting cattle sheds in Lairage Field on fire shortly after 3.35am.
The fire was so strong the crews asked for support from two more crews from North Tawton and Torrington as well as the incident command vehicle and an appliance from Ilfracombe.
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Fire crews also requested the attendance of an aerial ladder platform from Barnstaple and Western Power Distribution.
The blaze struck a range of single storey office and cattle market buildings measuring 100m by 50m.
It was finally put out at just after 5.40am. About eight percent of a block of single storey offices was severely damaged.
A spokesman for Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service said: “The fire was extinguished by fire crews using four breathing apparatus wearers, one main jet and two hose reel jets from an adjacent river open water supply.
“ The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the Fire Service and police.”
A cordon is in place around the site because of fears of asbestos contamination.
A spokesman for West Devon Borough Council said: “The council’s Environmental Health Team liaised with the fire service following the discovery of asbestos during the incident but did not need to visit the site.
“The council has been informed that the owner of the market has arranged for the asbestos to be cleared up and disposed of in line with regulations.
“A Building Control Officer will visit the site today to check on the structure and give advice if necessary.”