Chemical facility director vows to rebuild after fire destroys ETS site

FIRE: The damaged site this week. Photo: MAX STAINKAMPF
FIRE: The damaged site this week. Photo: MAX STAINKAMPF

The chemical handling facility destroyed by fire last month is to be rebuilt.

Environmental Treatment Solutions [ETS] director Jock Germany said he intended to build a new facility on the site on the corner of Gerry Street and Marshalls Lane.

Mr Germany said he was waiting for insurers to complete their investigations into the cause of the blaze.

He said they had not given him any indication of when he would be able to clear the site to begin the rebuilding process.

“It is still under investigation by the insurers,” he said.

“We are going to rebuild, but it is still in a holding pattern.”

Mr Germany said staff had been retained and were continuing to be paid.

“They are still on our books,” he said.

“They are doing odd jobs for us.”

Mr Germany said one staff member was also travelling to Sydney to work at the company’s other site at Minto.

He said they had access to the site but could not do a lot there due to safety concerns.

“We’re on site, but the roof is quite structurally unsound.”

Mr Germany said that when a new facility was built on the site it would provide more opportunities for the company and for employment.

“We’re hoping the new facility will be better all round for everyone,” he said.

BIGGEST BLAZE: The fire burns at the chemical facility last month. Photo: MARK LOGAN

BIGGEST BLAZE: The fire burns at the chemical facility last month. Photo: MARK LOGAN

Emergency services were contacted at 8.50pm on Tuesday, March 20, when the fire was spotted burning in the chemical facility.

Strong winds helped fuel the fire and several explosions were heard as firefighters battled through the night to contain the blaze.

Zone Commander for Bathurst Fire and Rescue Steve Evans said it was a “very intense” fire.

“It was one of the biggest fires they’ve seen in the Blayney area in a long time and it took three hours to put out,” he said.

There was also a small fire at the site in 2013 and a spill in 2014 which forced the evacuation of St Joseph’s Catholic School.

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