Smethwick fire explained

Firefighters are advising recycling plants on how to store rubbish to prevent fires. It comes just two weeks after the biggest fire the West Midlands has ever seen. A Chinese lantern landed on thousands of tonnes of rubbish at a centre in Smethwick.

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Bosses at destroyed plastic plant praise emergency services

The owners of the Jayplas recycling plant in Smethwick, which a fortnight ago was almost completely destroyed by fire, has praised the emergency services for their work.

Ten thousand tonnes of recycled supermarket packaging went up in flames when a lit sky lantern floated onto the site, causing what West Midlands Fire service has described as the largest blaze they've ever tackled.

In a statement today the company said:

Jayplas would once again like to thank the emergency services for their help in dealing with this tragic incident.

Their thoroughly professional handling of this ensured that this fire was contained and dealt with as quickly as possible.

Jayplas are now working closely with the environment agency to arrange to have the site cleared with minimal impact to the local environment and with little if any disruption to our surrounding neighbours and businesses.

We do hope to have the site operational as soon as possible.

– Jayplas statement


Firefighters advice to reduce impact of factory fires

Firefighters are warning over the issues of fire safety for major waste and recycling plants, following a major fire in Smethwick earlier this month.

Vij Randeniya, President of the Chief Fire Officers Association said better planning could reduce the impact of a fire.

He said: "We've had 15 fires in waste transfer stations this year, they've had 200 in the country this year and it's an increasing problem, in fact in Kidderminster there's one still burning.

"We want to work with the industry in order that we can make sure that these products are stored as safely as possible, that they are unlikely to catch fire and if they do, they're very very small."

Fire warnings issued after damage to Smethwick plant

Vij Randeniya, President of the Chief Fire Officers Association said the fire earlier this month at the Jayplas plant in Smethwick occurred because recycling waste was collected in "one great massive lump."

Scorched trees and destroyed lorry weighing platform Credit: ITV News Central

Today firefighters are appealing for recycling plant waste to be stored safely so that a major fire does not occur again.

Melted plastic bales Credit: ITV News Central

Damage from the recycling plant fire melted lamp posts and destroyed thousands of tonnes of rubbish causing £6 million of damage.

The heat of the fire melted lamp posts across the site Credit: ITV News Central


Fire service welcomes store's Chinese lanterns decision

The fire at the recycling plant was the biggest seen in the West Midlands Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

The Chief Fire Officer for the West Midlands has said:

"We asked for a sensible conversation about sky lanterns with sensible people, and we are really pleased that Poundland have stepped up to the plate.

This will make a direct contributon to public safety. We welcome it, and call on other responsible retailers to follow suit as soon as possible.

Our firefighters showed great skill and courage in controlling this enormous fire. We were at the scene for days. Poundland’s decision means their efforts were not in vain.”

Retailer to stop selling Chinese lanterns

The lantern can be seen appearing in the top right corner Credit: West Midlands Fire Service

The retailer Poundland has confirmed it will stop selling Chinese lanterns. The decision comes after it was revealed a Chinese lantern started a major fire at a recycling plant in Smethwick in Birmingham earlier this week.

The company has said it has also recalled all its stock of Chinese lanterns from its stores.

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