70 fire fighters and 20 fire engines have been at the site
of a fire, which began in the Card Factory in High Town,
which took hold at around 4.30am this morning and spread
to a number of neighbouring shops. The fire is now under
control, but the area is likely to remain cordoned off for
the remainder of the day.
people were evacuated from city centre flats - but nobody
has been injured and nobody is reported missing. The Black
and White house in the centre of High Town is undamaged.
Town, the Buttermarket, St Owen Street and St Peter's Square
however are currently closed.
help city centre shop workers, Herefordshire Council has
opened up the Shire Hall as a gathering centre so workers
can get the latest information. Due to the amount of water
used on the fire, people may experience low water pressure
or slightly discoloured water in the city centre.
Council is pledging support to local businesses affected
by today's fire by helping them find alternative suitable
premises. The economic development team is scouring the
city to identify potential properties for temporary or permanent
occupation, in a drive to get those affected up and running
again as quickly as possible. The team encourages premises
owners or business managers in need of alternative accommodation
to contact them as quickly as possible on 01432 261758.
team is also investigating how affected businesses will
be treated from a business rates perspective. It is hoped
that damaged properties can be taken out of business rates
until they are ready to be occupied again. The council has
also announced it will waive the daily charge for those
businesses which would ordinarily have been trading in High
Town today but are unable to due to the fire.