Opening up fireplace

Joined
30 Jul 2012
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United Kingdom
We have just moved into 1940ish house :unsure: . The MRS would like the fireplace to be opened up and a multi fuel stove installed if possible if not a faux fireplace?! Anyway the fireplace has been boarded up very well with breeze blocks and skimmed over.
To save money I had planned to open it up myself but get a heatas guy in to put in a flue and install the stove to building regs.
But when i popped off the vent cover they installed in the centre of where the fireplace used to be im not sure what i found?
maybe spray on insulation? The grey stuff not the white powder...
I have no idea any pointers would be great! Is it safe to remove? What is it?
It is soft to touch....Thanks


 
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