Unit called to chemical hazard

PUBLISHED: 12:44 28 September 2006 | UPDATED: 10:57 06 May 2010

The scene of the incident

The scene of the incident

POLICE and fire crews, including a hazardous materials unit, were called to a block of flats on Saturday after residents reported fumes coming from the cellar. Occupants were evacuated and three people were given precautionary checks by the ambulance serv

POLICE and fire crews, including a hazardous materials unit, were called to a block of flats on Saturday after residents reported fumes coming from the cellar.

Occupants were evacuated and three people were given precautionary checks by the ambulance service who also attended the incident at Ickleford Bury at around 11.30am.

In the cellar fire crews found two metal drums containing substances which had been used a few years earlier in protecting the cellar from damp. The drums had begun to corrode and fumes had started to seep out.

Transco had been called out but on realising it wasn't a gas leak the fire service was called.

One resident, Jose Noye, said: "We could smell something and we were not sure what was happening.

"We had all been evacuated and taken outside while the fire brigade took care of it."

Two firefighters went into the cellar wearing chemical safety suits and put the drums into sealed containers. These were brought outside and taken away for inspection.

The cellar was then ventilated using large fans to clear the air.

It was suspected that the fumes were not dangerous but could have resulted in mild headaches.

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