18 September 2017 by Elizabeth Slow

Investigation launched into fire at Viridor’s Bolton plant

An investigation has been launched into a large industrial fire at Viridor’s thermal recovery facility in Bolton, which took place yesterday (17 September).

Ten fire engines and two aerial appliances attended the fire at the facility at Raikes Lane, which, upon arrival, covered an area measuring around 20m by 50m, across three stories of the building.

Viridor fire

An aerial view of the damage caused by the fire in Raikes Lane (Picture: Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service )

The facility, which opened in the 1970s, processes up to 100,000 tonnes of waste per year. It is located around 1.2km south east of Bolton town centre.


According to a statement released by Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, crews used five jets to tackle the blaze and brought the fire under control 90 minutes after first arriving.

When contacted by letsrecycle.com, a spokesperson for the Fire and Rescue Service confirmed that the fire has now been extinguished and crews remain onsite damping down the area.

Group manager, John Crawley, incident commander at the scene said: “A significant amount of resources arrived at the incident quickly and were able to bring the fire under control. The actions of our staff tonight allowed us to save a large portion of the surrounding site.


“Firefighters will remain at the incident overnight to liaise and assist with the Viridor management team.”

In a response to the incident, a spokesperson for Viridor said its staff discovered a fire at the site at approximately 4.30pm on Sunday and alerted the fire service.

The spokesperson continued: “Emergency procedures at the plant, which is manned 24 hours a day seven days a week, were implemented and the fire was extinguished two hours later.

“The Environment Agency has been notified, the cause of the fire will be investigated and the extent of the damage will be assessed.”

The spokesperson confirmed that no one was injured and that the fire did not affect the recycling centre at Hurstwood Court.

Update: Environment Agency officers provided specialist environmental protection advice to Manchester Fire and Rescue Service during the fire.

An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “There was no evidence of water pollution as a result of the fire.”

“Investigations into the cause of the fire are ongoing.”

For practical advice and guidance surrounding fires in the waste industry, book your place at the Fire Prevention and Control Conference taking place on 15 November 2017 in London. Visit www.fireconf.com to see the full programme.


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