Members of the public are being advised to stay away from the Hastings railway building which was ravaged by fire overnight.
Fire and Emergency services were called to the blaze at the old Hastings Train Station on Sir James Wattie Place at about 1.55am.
Hastings District Council and the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board Medical Officer of Health, Dr Nick Jones, are advising members of the public to stay away from the building due to asbestos-containing building materials posing a risk to health.
“Building materials include asbestos containing sheets that potentially pose a risk to health if fibres are inhaled,” Mr Jones said.
Hastings District Council advised that the building site was being kept damp to contain asbestos fibres while site containment and clean-up operations were underway.
As an additional precaution Hastings District Council has closed Sir James Wattie Place until Kiwi Rail’s contractors have cleaned up any debris that may have been deposited down wind of the fire.
The adjacent Carters building closed earlier than its normal 12.30pm Saturday closing time as a precaution.
Fine particle samples were also being tested to ensure that there was no ongoing risk to the public or people working in neighbouring areas.
New Zealand Police are making inquiries to establish the cause of the fire.
A spokesperson for Fire and Emergency New Zealand, says it’s a relatively small building which is no longer in use.