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18 July: Here's a summary of the latest developments following last week's fire at Baldock Industrial Estate:
Whilst the fire is out and smoke largely dispersed, you may still experience a bad smell in the air for some time. This is normal. This may be unpleasant but is not considered harmful to health. If you wish to open windows and go outside it is safe to do so. If you do experience any symptoms which are impacting your health, please call NHS 111.
Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue Service (HFRS) are responsible for carrying out an investigation to identify the cause and origin of the fire. An initial investigation has been completed and is currently being internally reviewed. HFRS initial investigations suggest that the fire was started accidentally.
A structural survey was carried out by Hertfordshire Building Control who inspected the fire damaged site from the service road and the immediate surrounding area. They deemed the remaining site that was affected by the fire to be substantially structurally unstable and, may in places, be dangerous. As a result, they have served notice on the estate directors on 14th July requiring a full perimeter fence and 24/7 security on site to ensure access to the affected units is prevented. This will remain in place until further information, such as a structural survey of each commercial unit or the site as a whole is obtained. We will support the site owner to comply with the notices served, and to enforce those notices should they not be complied with. Arena Security have been instructed on the site by management agents Brown and Lee and can be contacted on 01462 481811.
Hertfordshire Growth Hub is Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s flagship business support provider. Powered by Hertfordshire LEP, it is delivered by a consortium of partners, led by business support specialists Exemplas, with the University of Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and Visit Herts. The service provides a central point of access for businesses in the county to access support and guidance.
Support for businesses affected
14 July: We are looking at what support can be given to those businesses affected by the fire.
We’ve confirmed that all businesses on the estate will be exempt from paying business rates from the date of the fire. Business owners do not need to contact us to arrange the exemption, it will be applied automatically.
We’ll be updating our website with further information and guidance to support affected businesses next week.
Community event for businesses affected by the Baldock fire
12 July: Hertfordshire County Council, North Herts Council, and Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership are hosting a community event for businesses affected by the fire in the Baldock industrial estate.
A range of organisations will be present at the event to answer business owners’ questions and offer them support and advice in the aftermath of the incident.
The event will be taking place on Thursday 13 July between 2pm and 3:30pm in the large hall at Baldock Community Centre.
Cllr Richard Roberts, Leader of Hertfordshire County Council, said: “We are deeply saddened by the huge damage to many local businesses as a result of the fire in Baldock. We’re here to listen to business owners so that we can provide them with the best support in the coming days and weeks. If you’ve been affected, please join us at Thursday’s event where information about the incident and advice to businesses will be available from a number of organisations.”
Cllr Elizabeth Dennis, Leader of North Herts Council, added: “Our thoughts are with all those affected by this terrible incident. The fire has had a devastating impact on local businesses and workers. We will do everything we can to help the Baldock Industrial Estate community. I encourage all those affected to join us on Thursday at Baldock Community Centre.”
For the latest information about the fire visit: www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/baldockfire
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