Firefighters were testing for traces of asbestos in the air after a warehouse fire erupted in Basildon in the early hours.
Crews were called to reports of a fire at an industrial estate on Durham Road, Laindon, just after 1am on Thursday morning (September 7).
Those who work nearby have been told by the fire service that they cannot access their buildings while they test for any traces of asbestos in the air.
Elaine Christian, a sales executive at Essex Business and Leisure Magazine, said: “We were told by the emergency service onsite that there could be asbestos in the air.
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“That’s all I know. The fire is right behind our office and we’ve still not been told we can go in.”
Essex Live understands that fire crews are testing neighbouring cars and buildings to see if there are unsafe levels of asbestos.
Lou Flynn and her partner live nearby and heard ‘popping noises’ and saw black smoke in the early hours.
She said: “We were standing in the garden just after I fed the baby her bottle and we heard popping noises and could see black smoke coming over.
“I thought it was fireworks at first, then my other half grabbed his keys and rushed out to find out what it was. He phoned the brigade and they already was aware of the situation.
“So he sent me a video and questioned me to place it on Facebook to make people aware. It was a building when he got there and was smoking with a few flames, then we heard a load of huge bangs and then the building just went up.
“The brigade were trying their best to get it all under control.”
An investigation into the cause of the fire is due to be carried out shortly.
ALSO READ: First pictures from Basildon warehouse fire show building engulfed by flames
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