A WAREHOUSE has collapsed after a huge fire ripped through the building this evening.
Emergency services dashed to the scene in Walsall, West Midland as flames reached into the sky.
One witness described the scenes as “like something out of a film”.
More than 50 firefighters from the West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service tackled the blaze but were unable to save the building and the roof and a wall collapsed.
The building had been due to be turned into 200 apartments.
Local residents were evacuated from nearby housing and a centre had been set up in Walsall Town Hall.
Police officers, members of the council as well as representatives from Cadent Gas and South Staffordshire Water are also at the scene.
A spokesman for the fire service said: “The roof has been totally destroyed with nothing but one corner left standing.
“The outside brick walls are peeling outwards like plasticine.
“Huge plumes of smoke are pouring out of the building and filling the evening sky. Despite the efforts, the smoke does not stop and I’m told the building is expected to collapse.”
The roof has been totally destroyed with nothing but one corner left standing. The outside brick walls are peeling outwards like plasticine
A spokesman for the West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service
Eye-witness Martin Wulfran, 36, said: “I could see loads of smoke from the rear of Walsall Art Gallery. I knew it was a substantial fire.
“When I got here there was a lot of grey smoke.
“To start with the blaze must’ve been fierce.
“People who own their cars and had parked near the building were speaking to the police.
“I think some cars had been damaged.”
Deputy leader of Walsall Council, Adrian Andrew, said: “I’ve been told there have been some evacuations.
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“My concerns are for public safety and the safety of emergency services.
“It’s been derelict for at least ten years.
“It was due to be 222 apartments. They had planning and it was a case of getting all the land ready.”
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