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Council works to ensure no contamination from fire


Council works to ensure no contamination from downtown fire

Skilled contractors have continued working in downtown Christchurch today to remove or contain any pollution from a weekend fire.

Christchurch City Council environmental health officer Klaus Prusas says specialist cleaners were needed because the burned building had been roofed with asbestos.

The building sat off the street toward the western end of the block surrounded by City Mall, Colombo and Hereford streets and Oxford Terrace. It was destroyed by fire on Saturday night.

Restaurants and bars along Oxford Terrace were evacuated and remained closed until today when checks ensured they had not been polluted. Staff from the City Council, Community Public Health and contractors worked on Sunday to check all public spaces and building roof areas around the site of the fire and cleanse any contamination that was found.

“In some ways it was fortunate,” Mr Prusas says. “There was a quiet north-easterly breeze blowing on Saturday night and whatever contamination was carried went to the west, towards the Avon River, so it’s simplified the checking and clean-up.”

Mr Prusas says the public area alongside the Oxford Terrace bars had been cleaned again today and systems have been agreed with the building’s owner to make sure no dust is created when the shell of the building is torn down and carried away.

ENDS

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