Mansfield asbestos fire fear prompts alert

Residents and workers in Nottinghamshire were evacuated after a fire broke out at a former school.

About 60 firefighters tackled the fire at the former Sherwood Hall School in Forest Town, Mansfield, from 1100 BST until it was brought under control.

Residents were later allowed to return home but advised to keep windows closed due to concerns about asbestos.

There are no reported injuries and the fire service said the cause of the blaze was being investigated.

Kevin Clearly, from Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue, said it took crews several hours to extinguish the fire.

'Thick smoke'

"We had initial concerns about asbestos but nothing has yet been confirmed as workmen have previously been on the site," he said.

"Our main concern was the fire gases given off from the fire itself."

Colin Thornton, who works opposite the site, said: "I've not seen anything like this before, this is massive. It is a really, really big fire.

"There is thick black smoke rising, billowing out over a wide area and I can turn around and see it everywhere."

This is believed to be the second fire in a month at the site of the former school.

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