FIREFIGHTERS spent more than three hours tackling a blaze at a factory on Wrexham Industrial Estate.
Four crews from Wrexham and Johnstown were scrambled as well as the Environment Agency to steel company Caparo Wire after a passer-by reported flames leaping from the roof at about 10.15pm on Wednesday.
No-one was hurt but a member of staff at the Ash Road South premises is now fearing for his job as a result of the blaze.
Speaking yesterday morning he said: “From what we’ve been told it’s bad. Apparently it’s taken half the factory and everyone’s running around like headless chickens.
“It’s been estimated there could be up to £1m worth of damage as some of the factory’s vital equipment, like the crane system, has completely buckled because the heat was so intense.
“This is the only major steel producer in the UK. We make spring wire for beds and supply the whole market in the UK and Europe.
“There's no other supplier of this wire in Britain so this is a big thing because we're extremely busy at the moment and we’ve got to protect our jobs.
“We’ve got two factories and this fire has taken one of them out of use.
“It was a big fire but luckily there were no staff in the factory at the time.”
North Wales Fire and Rescue Service confirmed an investigation was under way to establish the cause of the blaze which destroyed 10 per cent of the building and its contents.
A spokesman said: “Environmental protection mats were used to control a leak of hydrochloric acid and eight sets of breathing apparatus, along with thermal imaging cameras and an aerial ladder, were needed.
“An investigation into what caused the fire is ongoing but it is not thought to have been started deliberately.”
Rhys Ellis, from Environment Agency Wales, added: “A small amount of contaminated water escaped from the site but firefighters used mats which we supplied to prevent the bulk of the water from entering the site drains.
“We monitored the local brook which showed that the contaminated water had little effect on the environment.
“The contaminated water has now been taken away from the site for disposal.”