Posted: Thu 14th Jan 2021

Call for Kronospan inquiry update a year after serious fire at factory for people living in or visiting the wrexham area

A North Wales MS has questioned the progress of an inquiry report into the cause of a large fire at a factory in Wrexham.

In January 2020, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service were called to a blaze at Kronospan in Chirk. The incident, at the factory’s log yard, involved a quantity of logs and wood chip material.

It took five days to dampen down the fire and during that time residents were urged to keep their windows and doors closed due to smoke in the area. A local primary school also made the decision to keep its pupils inside during break time.

Now, 12 months after the incident, calls for the investigation report into the fire to be made public have been reiterated by Plaid Cymru’s North Wales MS Llyr Gruffydd, who has campaigned for greater safety for both factory staff and the wider local community.

He said: “The fire had a huge impact on the local community as the log fire burned for days.

“Residential areas of Chirk were badly affected by the smoke and there were some people taken to hospital as a precaution, although thankfully nobody appears to have been badly affected.

“As this was the 17th fire in 18 years at the plant, I felt it was important to have a thorough and independent inquiry. We were initially told the inquiry into the fire and what caused it would be made public by April last year.

“While I completely understand that the Covid pandemic has been a new public protection priority – and the same department has had to deal with the Hafod fire in Johnstown – the people affected by the Kronospan fire deserve to have answers to their questions.

“Why did this happen? How can we ensure it never happens again and what impact did it have on the local community’s health?”

Mr Gruffydd added: “I have written to Wrexham Council asking for an update on this inquiry and think it’s only fair the people of Chirk get a timescale for its release.”

A spokesperson for Wrexham Council said: “The investigation will be completed in accordance with our Enforcement Policy and relevant legal processes will be followed, this is a criminal investigation and all protocols will be followed.”

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