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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Large Fire at Biffa Site Started Accidentally

26/07/2011

The aerial ladder platform in action

A large fire at the Biffa Newstead Landfill Site on Alderflat Drive in Blurton which took firefighters for over 17 hours started accidentally Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has revealed.

"There is nothing to suggest that this fire was started maliciously. It appears to have ignited accidentally."

Station Manager, Brian Griffiths

A total of 13 crews from Hanley, Longton, Cheadle, Stone, Newcastle, Rugeley, Burslem and Ipstones were required to fight the fire in shifts, as firefighters remained on scene overnight and for the majority of this morning.

Specialist appliances were also required including the aerial ladder platform from Longton, control unit from Stone, high volume pump from Rugeley and the water carrier from Cheadle.

The fire involved 120 tonnes of domestic waste, three main jets were used at the height of the blaze and firefighters continued to damp down overnight.

The fire was fully extinguished by 10.30am this morning, when a fire investigation commenced to determine the cause of the fire.

Station Manager, Brian Griffiths said: "There is nothing to suggest that this fire was started maliciously. It appears to have ignited accidentally, though we cannot determine for certain exactly what caused this to happen at this stage.

"We required a lot of resources to fully extinguish the fire due to the nature of the waste being stored. The fire was located deep within the waste pile and continued to burn for a long time, so we had to ensure that all the hot spots had been effectively cooled to help prevent re-ignition.

"We used thermal imaging cameras to identify any hotspots and continually cooled them using hose reels and main jets."

Crews will return to reinspect the site later this afternoon.