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'Mini volcanoes' as fire rages at recycling plant

Fire crews have been tackling a huge blaze which has been raging at a Meriden recycling plant since last Friday.

West Midlands Fire Service Fire at quarry in Meriden

Fire crews have been tackling a huge blaze which has been raging at a Meriden recycling plant since last Friday.

The inferno began around 9pm at A&A Recycling Services Ltd, in Cornets End Lane, and involved around 6,000 tonnes of waste wood and chippings.

The fire was so intense that firefighters described the burning stacks on the site as “mini volcanoes”.

At its height, around 85 firefighters and 16 engines were tackling the flames in a 50ft pile of wood chippings.

West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) believe the fire started as an accident but said they could not investigate until the blaze was finally put out.

Group commander Nigel Sowden said: “We are not treating it as suspicious, we are treating it as accidental at this stage”.

Cornets End Lane was closed for much of Saturday as but has since been reopened.

The service was able to save some of the plant’s stock by using machinery on the site to build fire breaks and crews are now working with the Environment Agency to make sure the water run-off does not pollute nearby water courses.

A WMFS spokesman said: “We are continually scaling back the operation now as the fire is brought down.

“At it’s height there were 16 vehicles and 85 firefighters on the fire. At the moment (on Monday) it’s two engines and a high volume unit.

“After consultation with the Environmental Agency, we are letting some of the smaller scraps burn out, as if we put water onto them it will create smoke and pollution.”

Crews created an 80m-long ‘water curtain’, to prevent ignition of huge wood chip pile stack which measured 150m wide by 100m long and 15m deep. At least ten of the smaller stacks have been allowed to burn under controlled conditions to avoid more smoke and pollution.

“As soon as the fire is out, our guys will be able to go into the site and assess the situation,” the spokesman added. “Once we fully evaluate, we can see what implication there will be for the company.”



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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