Staff and visitors to Walter Gray and Co on St Thomas’ Street have reported a chemical smell and feeling unwell, prompting 3 fire appliances, a rescue tender and the Isle of Wight Ambulance Service to respond to the scene.
The alarm was raised at just before 15:40.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service have placed 2 appliances on standby at Southampton’s Red Funnel ferry terminal.
Those inside the building have been evacuated and are currently being triaged by paramedics.
St Thomas’ Street is closed in both directions and delays are occurring on adjoining Lind Street.
UPDATE @16:25 – Tactical commanders and officers from the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service (IOWFRS) and the Isle of Wight Ambulance Service (IOWAS) are working to assess the situation and any risk posed to the public.
Police are now on scene, but there is nothing at this stage to suggest any suspicious activity.
UPDATE @ 16:55 – Staff, accompanied by emergency crews, have been briefly allowed back into the building to collect their belongings.
The incident is still ongoing with crews working to ascertain the source of the smell. The Incident Command Unit from Newport is now also on scene.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service have confirmed that 1 appliance from St Mary’s (Southampton) has crossed the Solent to support fire cover on the Island.
UPDATE @ 17:40 – Tim Spencer-Peet, Officer for IOWFRS has confirmed to Island Echo that the source of the chemical smell has not been isolated, but appears to have dispersed.
A total of 5 people have been assessed by the Isle of Wight Ambulance Service.
The incident is now being scaled back with just 1 appliance set to remain on scene as the situation is monitored.
UPDATE – Emergency services have now stood down from the incident.
Dyno Rod engineers have flushed nearby drain systems and local residents/businesses have been told to evacuate once again should the smell return.