On 14 December 1984 fire broke out in a furniture repository in Sheffield which formed part of a very large warehouse and transit shed building occupied by the National Freight Consortium plc. In two days the fire destroyed the whole warehouse, with the exception of one protection section. It involved the attendance of several hundred fireman over a total period of six days.
Among the wide variety of goods stored in the building was a relatively small tonnage of chemicals. Concern was expressed during and after the fire about the difficulty experienced by the Fire Brigade in identifying the possible risks from the materials stored, followed by allegations by the Fire Brigades’ Union that firemen had been unnecessarily exposed to harmful fumes without the benefit of breathing apparatus.
The fire also led to expressions of concern about a number of aspects, including the delay in summoning the Fire Brigade and possible exposure of member of the public to harmful fumes and asbestos material evolved in the fire.
Image Credit: HSE