THE cost of the huge inferno that destroyed a factory is expected to soar to more than £1million.
Part of Paisley was brought to a standstill as the Alpine Blinds factory in Lacy Street was engulfed by flames and collapsed to the ground.
Yesterday, as an investigation into the cause of the fire continued, the massive financial cost of the blaze became clear.
One source told the Paisley Daily Express: “The fire experts have had to tread carefully because there is dangerous white asbestos in the remains of the building but they’ve seen enough to know that the scale of the damage is huge.
“The business occupied three units there and they were used for manufacturing, storage and a large office area. There was a lot of machinery in the factory, as well as other materials which would cost a lot to replace.
“I believe the cost of the damage is expected to go past the £1million mark.”
Children at neighbouring St John Ogilvie Primary School were told not to attend classes for the rest of the week following Tuesday night’s blaze.
But education chiefs are hoping to re-open the school today, depending on how the demolition work – which has been preventing access – is progressing.
At the height of the blaze, flames shot more than 40 feet into the air and a huge cloud of smoke could be seen by drivers on the M8 motorway.
At least 60 firefighters from stations in Paisley, Renfrew, Johnstone and as far away as Milngavie were brought in to tackle the blaze.
The distraught owner of the factory was among those who could only stand and watch as the building was reduced to a pile of rubble.
Then fire crews spotted white asbestos sheeting and had to work with extra care to avoid spreading dust particles.
Families living in neighbouring Dunn Street, Clarence Street and Violet Street were urged to stay indoors and close all of their windows.
And people returning to their homes were refused entry because of the dense, choking smoke.
Several roads, including Lacy Street and Seedhill Road, were closed to traffic by the emergency services.
Work to demolish the remains of the factory has been taking place.
Renfrewshire Council has contacted parents of children at St John Ogilvie to give them the number of a special hotline they can call to get an update on the situation at the school.
A council spokesperson said: “The school wasn’t damaged during the fire but it has been closed because of access problems during the demolition work.
“Parents should contact the council for more information.”
A spokesperson for Strathclyde Fire and Rescue said the investigation into the blaze is continuing but the cause is not thought to be suspicious.