Telford blaze : Clean-up continues as fire chiefs say it could be resolved within weeks

Work is continuing to clear up the site of the devastating recycling plant blaze in Telford, with fire chiefs saying the incident could be resolved within a few weeks.

The scene of the fire
The scene of the fire

Firefighters were called to Greenway Polymers on Monday, April 26, after waste material at the premises near the M54 went up in flames and smoke.

Results from air quality tests around the site have shown that risks to health are ‘low’ and no asbestos has been found.

Telford & Wrekin Council has been monitoring air quality on a daily basis using equipment from the Environment Agency and analysis of data by Public Health England Midlands.

Shropshire's assistant chief fire officer Dan Quin said: “The additional support from partners means we have been able to dismantle the building quickly and therefore reduce the length of the incident.

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"This minimises the longer-term impact of the fire and ensures the safety of firefighters who continue to work tirelessly on site.

“We can confirm that the building – which is metal sheeted with a steel structure and roller shutter doors – does not consist of asbestos-containing material and no materials containing asbestos have been found within the waste on the site.

“Work is continuing in the most cost-effective way to drag waste from the building so it can be extinguished and then processed for safe storage on site.

"We have worked through around 10 per cent of the waste, with an expectation that the incident will be resolved within a few weeks if our teams are able to continue safely at this rate.

“Residents should be aware that smoke levels will continue to rise and fall in line with weather conditions and activity on site.

“There is also the potential for smaller fires to ignite which we will continue to monitor and extinguish quickly.

Firefighters at the scene

“We are very aware of the impact this is having in the area and will continue to monitor air and water quality with our partners and would like to thank residents for their continued patience."

People who can smell smoke where they live are asked to keep doors and windows closed as a precaution and check for road closures on the M54.

Telford & Wrekin Council leader Shaun Davies said with nobody available to pay to put out the fire and clean up the site, the authority had taken the decision to contribute £200,000 and "will make every effort to recover that cost".

“We have gone above and beyond in our response to this fire to reassure everyone and to bring this to a conclusion as quickly as possible," he said.

“The council obtained air data from the Environment Agency’s ambient air quality monitoring team.

"This takes readings from a fixed position while our contractor follows the moving smoke plume to take further readings and give us an overall picture on a daily basis.

“It is reassuring to find that, despite the smoke being unpleasant and an inconvenience, the risks to health are low, however because any smoke is an irritant, it is advisable to avoid the smoke if you can and, if indoors, keep doors and windows shut.”

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