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Up to 200 firefighters are tackling a fire at a clothing factory in the West Midlands that has spread to a second building.

Fire tackled by 200 firefighters

Up to 200 firefighters are tackling a fire at a clothing factory in the West Midlands that has spread to a second building.

Fire chiefs said asbestos may have been released into the environment and urged people living near the Smethwick factory to shut windows and doors.

There have been no casualties and no-one was thought to be trapped in the buildings.

Roads were shut around Monty´s Tropical Rags factory and surrounding buildings.

It was bad - the building was collapsing and all the asbestos was being thrown to the floor
Wayne Shaw, eyewitness

Cornwall Road, along with Bridge Street North, Rabone Lane and Downing Street were closed because of the incident.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing large black plumes of smoke across the area and the police helicopter circling over the factory site on Hawthorns Industrial Estate.

The fire service told people living and working within a half-mile radius of the site, which is near West Bromwich Albion´s football stadium, to keep their windows shut and stay inside.

Some firefighters had to leave the site when parts of the buildings collapsed.

´Building collapsing´

Eyewitness Chris Myers said: "I looked up and saw four firefighters on the building.

"Two of them managed to get down the ladders on time and two others had to run back on to the other part of the building because it was collapsing."

Police said it was not yet known what caused the fire.

Wayne Shaw, who works near the industrial estate, said he saw the fire spread to two other buildings.

He said: "It was bad - the building was collapsing and all the asbestos was being thrown to the floor."

 

source: www.news.bbc.co.uk