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.

View all 64 updates ›

Clean-up operation begins in Smethwick after fire

A major clean-up operation is underway following a fire at a recycling plant in Smethwick which could have been caused by a Chinese lantern.

Around 200 firefighters fought the flames which destroyed more than 50,000 tonnes of recycling material.

Fire hoses cover the ground in Smethwick Credit: ITV News Central

Yesterday West Midlands Fire Service called for an "urgent review" of the legislation regarding the use of Chinese lanterns.

This digger will be used to clean up the hardened plastic Credit: ITV News Central

West Midlands Fire Service said: "We are also urging community leaders and members of the public to discourage the use of the lanterns, on the basis that they constitute a fire risk when released."

Firefighters dampen down the flames Credit: ITV News Central

More on this story