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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Plastics fire quickly contained by firefighters

Around 45 firefighters were involved in tackling a large fire at a plastics recycling company in Tamworth last night.

"We attacked the flames from two sides and fire crews did such a fantastic job in containing the fire, damage has been minimal." 

Simon Craythorn, Incident Commander.

At the height of the fire five appliances from Staffordshire plus three from Warwickshire were at the scene at Boomerang Plastics on the Lichfield Road Industrial Estate. 

The alarm was raised at 16.22 and more than 60 999 calls were received by Fire Control.  A dense plume of black acrid smoke quickly developed and was seen over Tamworth from several miles away.  

Incident Commander Simon Craythorn said: “The incident had the potential to be very serious and reinforces the importance of companies installing water sprinkler systems to protect their premises. 

“Our main priority on arrival was to prevent the fire spreading to neighbouring business premises and the adjacent London Midland railway line. We attacked the flames from two sides and fire crews did such a fantastic job in containing the fire, damage has been minimal. 

“It was a very difficult fire to deal with due to the very high temperatures that burning plastics reach as well as the thick smoke given off and growing darkness. We also had restricted access to the site and all the risks involved in dealing with fire in close proximity to a railway and power lines.” 

He explained that the fire involved around 40 tonnes of recycled plastics stacked on pallets in a yard outside the building. Fire investigators are currently at the scene to determine the cause. 

“Fire caused by plastic materials gives off very unpleasant fumes and at one point we put out an appeal via the Police for people living on nearby housing estates to keep their doors and windows closed for safety.” 

Firefighters in breathing apparatus used three main jets and foam to tackle the fire. 

Crews from Tamworth, Lichfield, Burton-on-Trent and Rugeley attended plus crews from Polesworth and Atherstone in Warwickshire. A crew from Abbots Bromley remained at the scene this morning to ensure there was no risk of re-ignition. 

Damage was contained to heat damage of one wall of the company’s building. 

The Service’s business continuity officer is currently working with companies on the industrial site to ensure any disruption to their operation is minimal.