Toxic concern at Byron fire
WORKERS at businesses in the Byron Industrial Estate were evacuated yesterday because of fears that smoke from a factory fire may have been toxic.
There were complaints from people in the estate about the fumes causing illness.
A large section of the factory in Centennial Ct caught alight just before midday.
There were fears that the blaze would spread to adjoining businesses - a timber store and Byron Shire Council's environmental laboratory - but by 2pm fire officers were able to contain it, a media spokesman said.
No one was on site at the factory at the time, which has no signage and there were differing reports as to whether it made fibreglass or paper and art products.
At 4.30pm the fire was still being treated as active.
About 40 fire officers from Byron Bay, Bangalow, Lismore, Brunswick Heads, Tweed Heads and the Rural Fire Service attended in fire trucks.
Tweed Heads and Lismore also sent a Hazardous Materials Unit truck to the site.
Police began cordoning off access to the area at 12.30pm but that was lifted for most of the estate at around 4pm. By late afternoon just a small section of the street remained blocked to cars and pedestrians.