Calls to publish report into major fire at Chirk Kronospan factory almost three years on

Firefighters at the Kronospan fire. Picture: Paul McNulty.

Llyr Gruffydd said the delay in releasing the investigation was causing unease in the Chirk community.

The fire happened in January 2020 when wood in the factory yard caught fire. Fire crews spent 12 hours battling to extinguish the flames having been called in the early hours. Smoke and flames could be seen for miles and local residents were told to stay indoors as a result.

A report into the fire was delayed because of the Covid pandemic but Mr Gruffydd said that can no longer be given as the reason.

Kronospan says it also wants a conclusion and the publication of the report.

The cloud of smoke over Chirk after the 2020 fire

A spokesperson said changes and improvements to prevent an incident of this nature occurring in the future had already been made.

Mr Gruffydd said: “It’s a matter of concern that the investigation has still not reported back. I understand the report was due to be published in April 2020 but the Covid pandemic meant resources had to re-allocated and fully accept that explanation for the initial delay.

“However, that is no longer the case and, for the sake of local residents and workers at the plant, it’s important that we have sight of the investigation’s findings so that future fires can be avoided. There is a great deal of anxiety locally about air quality and the events of January 2020 added to those concerns.

A statement from company said: “Kronospan have actively supported the investigation into the fire which occurred in January 2020 and irrespective of the delay in the publication of the report, we have made changes and improvements to prevent an incident of this nature occurring in the future.

“We understand the concern this incident caused for the residents of Chirk at the time, for which we apologise once again. Equally, we are also aware that the ongoing delay in publication only perpetuates those concerns. We wish to move forwards with our local community and obtain a conclusion to the investigation.”

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