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27th October 2010

AFTER THE HEREFORD FIRE............................

The smell of acrid smoke lingered in the city air as we went to film the cleanup after the Hereford fire on Saturday morning. Following the fire, Hereford City Council and Herefordshire Council have thanked the emergency services for their response to the major fire which took hold in High Town during the early hours of Thursday morning. The fire, which was believed to have been caused by an electrical fault, gutted the Card Factory shop and left neighbouring shops severely damaged.

Workmen have been at the scene demolishing the frontage of the Card Factory shop, which had become unsafe, and scaffolding is currently being put up around neighbouring stores to prop up their shop fronts.

Unfortunately, due to the size of the cordon - which will reduce in size as workmen clear the site - today's (Wednesday's) open retail market due to be held in High Town has had to be cancelled. The council is working to reopen the Saturday retail market this weekend, but is also looking for an alternative site should the scaffolding and cordon remain too large to allow the traders to set up their stalls.

Meanwhile Councillor Anna Toon, Mayor of Hereford City, has thanked the emergency services for their 'speedy and effective response which saved the city for which we are all very grateful. 'We owe them a great deal. The fire was fierce and was spreading quickly due to the timber-framed construction of the buildings - much was saved due to their prompt action.'

Councillor June French, deputy leader of Herefordshire Council said: 'Thanks to their sterling work, the fire was confined to just a handful of buildings - it could have been a lot worse and for that we owe them a great deal. We are also are grateful for the way that the police, ambulance service, Amey and our own officers responded during the incident and since.'

The good news is that the historic Booth Hall was not damaged as much as had been feared. Damage was confined to a small area of the ceiling along with a small amount of water damage. While Hereford's famous black and white house was not damaged by the fire, it remains closed due to its proximity to the damaged buildings while their frontages are being made secure.

More scenes from the cleanup can be seen in this week's 'Week in Moving Pictures'.

Damage to the 'Card Factory' and the timber framed building next door.

Demolition begins at the Card Factory and scaffolding is being erected to protect the surrounding shop fronts.

Demolishing the Card Factory building.

This was the scene a month prior to the fire.
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