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Update: Firefighters tackle blazes at Rainham waste recycling plant for 24 hours

09:43 05 August 2014

Smoke bellowed from the site. Picture: @lizwilloughby

Smoke bellowed from the site. Picture: @lizwilloughby

Archant

Firefighters have remained at a waste recycling plant where they are damping down a fire, for 24 hours.

A waste recycling plant in Creek Way, Rainham, is still on fire after it caught fire yesterday. Picture courtesy of B Edmunds.A waste recycling plant in Creek Way, Rainham, is still on fire after it caught fire yesterday. Picture courtesy of B Edmunds.

A firefighter has warned residents in the area to keep at a distance from Shanks waste recycling plant, in Creek Way, Rainham, where firefighters were called to at 9.27am yesterday.

Station manager Laurie Kenny, said: “Crews are working hard and have prevented the fire from spreading to any neighbouring buildings.

“As the recycling plant is on an industrial estate, there are no nearby houses but there is a lot of smoke which is drifting quite a distance and can be seen for miles. If you live locally, shut your windows and doors.”

Fire crews from Wennington, Dagenham, Barking, East Ham, Stratford and Romford fire stations were initially sent to the scene but now 12 fire engines and 81 firefighters and officers are attending to the fire.

Around 100 tonnes of household waste – the equivalent of 40 white rhinoceros – is alight.

One firefighter who was called to the scene said he believed the fire had started on a conveyor belt, spreading to waste waiting to be recycled.

He said the building then caught alight before a crane collapsed into it.

James Green, 37, of Rainham, said: “I work on the industrial estate near by and all you can see is smoke.

“It’s probably about 100 feet high and it smell is unbelievably horrible. The stench is rancid.”

There are now road restrictions on Marsh Way, Rainham, near the Blackwater Close junction due to the fire.

Firefighters are using mechanical diggers and aerial appliances to access the fire and have also used specialist equipment to pump water from the Thames to help put out the flames.

Some residents’ rubbish was not collected yesterday as roads were closed off thanks to the fire, but rubbish will now be collected today and taken to Jenkins Lane Reuse and Recyclying Centre in Newham.

For more details visit havering.gov.uk.

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