Kronospan Chirk WEB

Firefighters battle blaze at Kronospan’s Chirk factory

Firefighters have been battling a blaze that broke out on Monday at the Kronospan factory in Chirk, north Wales.

A fire started in the wood storage facility at the surfaces specialist’s manufacturing site in Chirk. Kronospan’s spokesperson said that the fire has been under control since it started even though it was still in flames.

According to North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, the fire started near the raw timber in the log yard at around 2am on Monday (January 13).

The fire service was still on site at 11am today (Thursday). Firefighters have managed to get the fire under control, but it is still continuing to burn.

North Wales Council has released a statement to residents, advising them to stay indoors and to keep windows and doors closed even though the smoke is non-toxic. The smoke will reduce and disappear over a few days.

A statement from the North Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “The Fire Service has been in attendance since responding to the incident and has confirmed that the fire is contained and under control.

“The managed fire will continue to burn for a period of time. The fire will be extinguished as soon as practicable, depending on the prevailing weather conditions.”

According to Chirk councillor Gareth Baines, the County Council and the Health and Safety Executive will be investigating the incident and have scheduled an emergency council meeting for Thursday, January 16.

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A spokesperson for Kronospan said: “North Wales Fire & Rescue Service Firefighters remain on site at a fire in Kronospan, Chirk. NWFRS crews are working with staff on site and are expected to remain on site throughout today. Kronospan is optimistic that smoke from the incident will reduce and disappear over the next few days.

“Whilst the fire has been visible on occasions, it has been under control since its outset, and has been carefully managed by the Fire Service and our own personnel to reduce in intensity and size, but this is a time consuming process. Kronospan expresses its thanks to the efforts of NWFRS personnel who have tackled the incident.

“We recognise the concerns expressed by residents, but would like to reassure people in Chirk that this fire involves raw timber on the logyard and whilst the smoke it has created is problematic, hence the advice to keep doors and windows closed, the material involved does not create a health risk.”

The fire comes after Kronospan invested €200 million (£171m) in the site – a programme of improvements the company said was reaching completion in December last year. It encompassed all areas of the site from pre-production through to finishing. It aimed to improve efficiency and double turnover while keeping the number of employees the same at 630.

Kronospan was established in 1897 in Austria as a family business and now has 40 manufacturing sites around the world.

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