County Councillors have paid tribute to the efforts of the emergency services, the local community and other partners following a large fire in Kidderminster.
Firefighters tackled the blaze at Park Street in Kidderminster on Wednesday.
Nearby roads had to be shut during the height of the fire and many Kidderminster schools were closed on Thursday due to safety reasons.
Worcestershire County Council worked closely with partners including Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, West Mercia Police, local district councils, local volunteer services, the Environment Agency and Public Health England to ensure the incident was managed appropriately and nearby residents and road users were kept safe.
Highways staff from the County Council supported the emergency services in the closure of roads as the situation developed into Wednesday evening and through the night, and then began re-opening them as soon as it became safe to do so.
Councillor Alan Amos, Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “Our team did a fantastic job in ensuring that roads were closed to allow emergency services to attend to the fire as the fast moving situation continued to develop on Wednesday evening.
“The close partnership working of the multi-agency Tactical Command Group meant that a clear and detailed plan was followed into the night, and roads were quickly re-opened as soon as it was safe to do so. “
Throughout the evening on Wednesday, schools across the town were very responsive to the information and advice given to them, whilst also ensuring they adhered to their Covid-19 risk assessment, taking into account factors such as being able to provide adequate ventilation
All schools liaised with parents and carers to ensure students, staff and parent safety, with the majority in the area to choosing to close on Thursday and then re-open on Friday, once it had been deemed to do so.
Councillor Marcus Hart, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Education, said: “The safety of all members of our school communities; students, staff and parents is always our top priority in incidents like this.
“Our staff at Worcestershire Children First and Worcestershire County Council worked together throughout Wednesday evening to ensure staff, students and parents were kept safe and well informed of the emerging situation so they could make appropriate decisions and arrangements for their school and inform parents of closures as early as possible. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all partners for their hard work and dedication, and local residents for their understanding as the incident unfolded on Wednesday evening.”