Firefighters asked nearby residents to shelter-in-place when massive fire broke out Wednesday morning at a plastics recycling plant in North West England.
At about 11 a.m. firefighters responded to the Sankey Valley Industrial Estate, the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service posted on Facebook. They arrived to find an area of plastic waste 30 meters by 15 meters ablaze.
“On arrival, it soon became clear that this would be a challenging incident,” MFRS posted. “Due to the enormity of resources required – 20 fire engines, two aerial appliances and two high volume pumps – this was declared a major incident at around lunchtime.”
Firefighters divided the burning waste into sectors and used compressed air foam and a high-pressure hose reel jet to extinguish the flames.
Warm weather combined with acrid fumes added to difficulties firefighters faced. However, almost no wind meant that smoke went straight up before dissipating.
“As well as affecting a large quantity of plastic containers and a brick building on site, the fire also spread to a nearby caravan (trailer) park, leading to the evacuation of those living there,” the Facebook account states. The fire also forced the shutdown of local rail service.
“Local residents may have experienced problems with their water pressure, but we are working closely with partners to ensure they retain water supply,” MFRS posted.