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Rainham fire: MP Jon Cruddas praises firefighters as underground blaze burns on into sixth day

PUBLISHED: 09:41 10 July 2019

Diggers will be used today to help turn over piles of waste and assist fire crews with reaching the deep seated pockets of fire in Launders Lane, Rainham. Picture: @LondonFire

Diggers will be used today to help turn over piles of waste and assist fire crews with reaching the deep seated pockets of fire in Launders Lane, Rainham. Picture: @LondonFire

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Rainham MP Jon Cruddas has praised the “fantastic” work of the borough’s firefighters who continue to tackle the grass fire that broke out on Friday before spreading to waste dumped on the site.

Diggers will be used today to help turn over piles of waste and assist fire crews with reaching the deep seated pockets of fire in Launders Lane, Rainham. Picture: @LondonFireDiggers will be used today to help turn over piles of waste and assist fire crews with reaching the deep seated pockets of fire in Launders Lane, Rainham. Picture: @LondonFire

The fire broke out on grass in Launders Lane just after 1.15pm on Friday and spread to a pile of mixed waste.

The London Fire Brigade (LFB) on Monday issued a warning to nearby residents, urging them to keep doors and windows closed while the fire continued to burn.

On Tuesday evening a large plume of black smoke could still be seen for miles as the flames once again flared up.

The Recorder understands that as of this morning (Wednesday, July 7) the fire is still burning, predominantly underground where most of the LFB's equipment is unable to reach it.

Diggers will be used today to help turn over piles of waste and assist fire crews with reaching the deep seated pockets of fire in Launders Lane, Rainham. Picture: @LondonFireDiggers will be used today to help turn over piles of waste and assist fire crews with reaching the deep seated pockets of fire in Launders Lane, Rainham. Picture: @LondonFire

It is believed fire crews will remain at the site, dampening down hotspots on the surface with water as they break out from the underneath piles of the mixed waste.

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Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas revealed his office has been contacted a number of times this week by residents who fear the fire has released dangerous pollutants from the former landfill site into the air - something which has not yet been confirmed by the fire brigade.

Mr Cruddas said: "I commend the work of our local firefighters, who have done a fantastic job so far trying to contain the fire in tough conditions.

Diggers will be used today to help turn over piles of waste and assist fire crews with reaching the deep seated pockets of fire in Launders Lane, Rainham. Picture: @LondonFireDiggers will be used today to help turn over piles of waste and assist fire crews with reaching the deep seated pockets of fire in Launders Lane, Rainham. Picture: @LondonFire

"I have had a number of emails from residents living nearby who are rightfully concerned about the temporary impact on air quality.

"I have contacted the council today seeking assurances that the site is being investigated for potential hazardous pollutants, which I hope the council will relay to residents in the area."

Ten fire engines and around 70 firefighters were involved at the height of the blaze and columns of thick dark grey and white smoke could be seen from as far away as neighbouring boroughs throughout the weekend.

At its height, approximately two hectares of grass and a pile of mixed waste were alight.

The fire brigade took 15 calls about the incident.

On Monday, the LFB confirmed diggers were being sent into the site to help overturn waste to try and give firefighters


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