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Company says it’s committed to clear up of fire site five months after huge blaze

A Mansfield company has confirmed its ‘unwavering’ commitment to clearing up the site of its former premises five months after it was destroyed in a large fire.

Savanna Rags International’s Forest Road warehouse was wrecked on March 20 after the blaze broke out.

Firefighters from several stations tackled the fire, which could be seen for miles and caused nearby homes and businesses to be evacuated.

The fire damaged Savanna Rags site pictured five months after the March blaze

It led to the recycled clothing business temporarily ceasing operations before moving to a new location in Hermitage Lane, Mansfield.

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The site on Forest Road remains fire-damaged, including half-destroyed buildings and numerous items of scattered clothing previously donated to the textiles firm.

Clothes seen scattered near Forest Road in Mansfield after the Savanna Rags fire

The firm says demolition was agreed upon two months ago but was delayed due to “unforeseen circumstances”.

However, its current state has led to one councillor describing the site as a “blot on the landscape” and urging for something to be “done about it”.

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Cllr Andre Camilleri (Con), who represents Berry Hill on Mansfield District Council, said: “This mess has been left for five months.

The Savanna Rags site in Forest Road Mansfield .

“It’s not only a blot on the landscape but it’s obstructing the highway/pavement on a very dangerous road.

“Something needs to be done quickly before someone gets injured.

“Why should our residents have to put up with looking at this burnt-out building and all the rubbish?

The Savanna Rags site in Forest Road Mansfield 1 1

“It’s the company’s sole responsibility to get it sorted and cleared, but it’s obvious they are not taking any notice.”

His comments sparked a response from the business and an update on the site clear-up.

The company described the March fire as “regrettable destruction” which caused it to downsize its workforce by two-thirds.

The Savanna Rags site in Forest Road Mansfield

It says it has engaged with contractors to oversee a “meticulous” demolition of its site, which was due to begin on June 26.

However, it says the demolition delay related to health and safety and environmental concerns, which the business says fall “beyond our purview”.

And it said it is ‘steadfast’ in its commitment to following these standards and getting its premises cleaned up.

The Savanna Rags site in Forest Road Mansfield

The company said: “We wish to assure our local community we are working in close collaboration … to address these concerns and ascertain a viable initiation date for the site’s clean-up.

“While acknowledging the unsightly impact our site’s current state has had on the landscape, we remain unwavering in our dedication to ensuring a comprehensive and regulatory-compliant demolition.

The Savanna Rags site in Forest Road Mansfield 1

“Throughout this period, [we have] upheld constant communication with Mansfield District Council.

“We extend our gratitude to [the council] for [its] consistent support and invaluable guidance as we navigate through these intricate matters.”

Responding directly to Cllr Camilleri – who also represents Mansfield South on the county council – the business said it has “received no correspondence” from the politician.

But it said it is “diligently pursuing every avenue to swiftly rectify this situation”.

It added: “Our resolve remains resolute.

“The fire’s grievous impact on our operations necessitated extraordinary and tireless efforts to recuperate from the loss of facilities, inventory, equipment, and the subsequent relocation.

“This, regrettably, led to the downsizing of our workforce by two-thirds.

“We have diligently ensured the Forest Road site adheres to the necessary health and safety standards during this interim period.

“This commitment shall endure until the demolition process can commence. We acknowledge with sincere regret any inconvenience that the delay in the site’s demolition may have caused.”

A Mansfield District Council spokesperson added: “We understand Savanna Rags are in discussion with licensed contractors to carry out the demolition and clearance work.

“[The] council will continue to give advice where it is needed so that works are carried out in accordance with health, safety and environmental regulations.”

No-one was hurt in the blaze, which Firefighters said was not being treated as suspicious.

 

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