Fire crews still at scene of Lawrence Recycling fire
19 June 2013
Firefighters have said they expect to be at the scene of a huge blaze which broke out on Sunday afternoon at a recycling centre in Worcestershire until the end of the week.
Fire crews were called to the Forge Recycling Site, run by Lawrence Recycling, on Stourport Road, Kidderminster, at approximately 5.30pm on Sunday (June 16) and initially brought in 15 fire engines to tackle the fire. This number was yesterday reduced to four however due to the scale of the incident, crews are expected to be on site for several more days.
Station commander for Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, Ian Jallands, told letsrecycle.com: “The fire was at its height on Sunday night and has been reducing since then. We are making progress but it is going to be a long job due to the quantities of material involved. I imagine we will still be on site at the end of the week.”
Mr Jallands explained that the fire involved recyclable material contained within a large shed on the site which measured approximately 250 by 100 metres. Nobody was hurt in the incident.
He said: “We were called at about 17.30 on Sunday 16th June. Our initial attendance rapidly escalated to 15 fire engines with 15 pumping devices – it was a massive incident. You could see the smoke from the M6 in Birmingham. This was later reduced to six pumps on Sunday night and throughout Monday there was still six. Yesterday there were four appliances.”
The Forge Recycling centre, which was praised by Prime Minister David Cameron when first announced, recycles commercial and industrial waste from Lawrence Recycling’s skip hire customers and has a capacity to handle 255,000 tonnes of waste a year. Before it opened in 2009, it was hailed as one of the largest facilities of its kind in Europe (see letsrecycle.com story)
Andrew Gibson, chairman of Lawrence Recycling & Waste Management, explained that the company was still collecting commercial waste following the fire and had contingency plans in place for where to send it.
He said: “Our Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity plans have been implemented. We continue to collect commercial waste for our customers utilising 3rd party sites whilst the Forge Recycling Centre is closed.”
Mr Gibson added that it was “too early” to speculate on the cause of the fire as the company awaits the outcome of the investigation.
He added: “The response from the emergency services and our staff has been fantastic with a well co-ordinated approach on site.”