A ‘SUBSTANTIAL’ fire at a recycling facility in south Warwickshire will be the focus of an investigation to establish the cause.
The blaze at a warehouse at Pure Recycling in Ettington broke out on Monday afternoon sending thick smoke billowing into the air.
Ten fire engines were sent to the scene shortly after 4pm. Firefighters, working in extreme heat, fought to bring the blaze under control. They also had to deal with a fire which spread from the warehouse to a neighbouring field and which was threatening to engulf a garage.
At the height of the fire nearby residents were urged to close doors and windows to avoid smoke and fumes getting into homes.
Following consultation with both Public Health England and the Environment Agency, a decision was made on Monday evening to allow the fire to burn itself out completely once under control, and to concentrate efforts on protecting risks to the surrounding countryside.
The approach aimed to limit the run off from contaminated water into the brook which runs through the site and finds its way into the River Avon at Charlecote Park.
Speaking at the scene, Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service (WFRS) Incident Commander Jon Arnold said: “The fire is now much reduced and is contained within the building which, as expected, has mainly collapsed in on itself.
“The plan now is to continue to allow the fire to burn out until the insurers have arranged for demolition teams to be onsite, at which point we will be on hand to deal with any remaining hot spots. It is expected this will happen in the next couple of days, and certainly by the end of the week.”
Warwickshire County Council’s community safety spokesman Coun Andy Crump praised the efforts of firefighters.
He said: “Our dedicated crews worked extremely quickly in very difficult conditions and not only managed a potentially serious fire, but did so in a way that greatly limited any damage to the local environment.
“This additional facet to the operation will not have been seen but should be recognised for protecting the local environment both immediately and in the longer term.”
The centre deals with recycling from both Stratford and Warwick districts.
Stratford District Council (SDC) had temporarily halted blue bin recycling collections at the time of going to press.
An SDC spokesperson said: “We will advise on the collection arrangements as soon as we have more information. All other collections are operating as normal.”