9 June 2021 by James Langley

Drone helps tackle blaze at EMR’s Darlaston site

Twenty firefighters attended a fire involving 70 tonnes of waste white goods last night (8 June) at the European Metal Recycling (EMR) site in Darlaston, near Walsall.

West Midlands Fire Service told letsrecycle.com it first received a call about the fire at 9.32pm yesterday. An area of around 10 metres by 10 metres was said to be alight.

Fire crews used a hydraulic platform to douse the flames, guided by a drone (picture: West Midlands Fire Service)

Four fire engines from stations in Willenhall, Walsall, Wednesbury and Bilston attended the fire. The first crew was on the scene in three minutes.

Fire crews used a hydraulic platform to douse the flames with water from a nearby canal, guided by a drone with thermal imaging capabilities. The drone was used to help locate hotspots.

By 12.30am West Midlands Fire Service began scaling down resources at the scene. The fire service said a crew revisited the site at around 7am today. They were confident the fire had not reignited and the incident was closed.

The cause of the fire is not viewed as suspicious as it is believed to be accidental.

Under control

A spokesperson for EMR told letsrecycle.com the company wanted to thank the local fire teams for acting “swiftly and professionally” with its own site team to bring the situation under control.

“We are pleased to report that no injuries were sustained and there was no damage to the site infrastructure”

EMR spokesperson

The fire service said EMR staff helped tackle the blaze by using machinery such as diggers to break up burning items.

The EMR spokesperson said: “We are pleased to report that no injuries were sustained and there was no damage to the site infrastructure.

“We would like to apologise to the local community and businesses for any inconvenience. We are extremely proud of our health and safety record and we will review the circumstances of this incident and take any learnings we can to continue improving our procedures.”

EMR

Founded in 1994 by Phillip Sheppard, EMR recycles metal and plastics from a range of public, commercial and industrial waste streams, including end-of-life vehicles, consumer products, industry, construction and demolition.

The global company has physical operations in the UK, USA, Germany and the Netherlands.

EMR suffered another “severe” fire at its Darlaston site in February 2007 (see letsrecycle.com story).

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