600 people flee Wrexham job centre in blaze drama

Reporter:

Staff reporter

HUNDREDS of people fled the JobCentre Plus offices in Wrexham yesterday morning after reports of a fire in the building.

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service received a call to the Grosvenor Road building at just after 11am and 600 people had to leave the building.

The fire was out on the fire service’s arrival. It was believed to have been caused by residue fat from a fryer.

The streets surrounding the premises became lined with workers after the mass evacuation and members of the public who watched – sometimes in heavy rainfall – as the firefighters arrived.

Among the evacuees was a woman from the Smithfield area of Wrexham who said: “It was just around 11am and I was waiting to see a member of the staff. Then the alarm suddenly went off.

“At first I thought that this was going to be just something like a practice session and didn’t realise it was actually for real.

“But then officials were quickly standing by the door and everyone was told they had to get out.

“It was all very calm and well ordered. There were no signs of panic coming from anyone. I didn’t see a fire at any time.”

Road diversions were set up to direct traffic away from the scene. After the firefighters had ensured everything was safe, JobCentre Plus staff were allowed back into the building at about 11.50am and the doors of the building were reopened to the public soon afterwards.

A JobCentre Plus spokesman said: “We can confirm there was a small fire in the canteen area of the Wrexham premises and we are currently investigating the cause. There was no damage as a result.”

See full story in the Leader

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