On standby: Telford family close to huge fire warned of potential evacuation

A Telford family whose home and business is just a stone's throw from a rampaging fire were put on standby to evacuate.

The view from the Bannisters' home at the Cottage Kennels & Cattery. Photo: Janice Bannister
The view from the Bannisters' home at the Cottage Kennels & Cattery. Photo: Janice Bannister

The Granville Recycling Plant, on the eastern edge of Telford and Wrekin, has been burning since this morning and crews from the Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service have been shuttling up and down the remote Grange Lane which leads to it all day.

Smoke has been pouring into the sky and is visible for miles around, though the centre is surrounded mostly by horse fields.

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The Bannister family who run the Cottage Kennels & Cattery, just a few hundred metres from the centre, prepared their animals to leave on a moment's notice if the situation worsened. They have lived at Grange Lane for 20 years.

It was Janice Bannister who reported the fire when it was in full flow at 4.30am. She described waking up to see the ridge opposite her window engulfed in fire and smoke.

The view of the blaze in full effect from the Bannisters' home at the Cottage Kennels & Cattery. Photo: Janice Bannister

"It was quite scary. We've never had any trouble before," she said.

Her son Danny, who has lived at the kennels all his life, said that the situation was "surreal".

He said: "It was about 4.30am. My mum had just woken up to go to the bathroom, I had woken up at a similar time for some reason.

"I just heard her saying 'It's on fire, it's on fire'. I looked and I saw the whole ridge on fire. It was quite surreal.

"It was quite a big fire [when we saw it] so it could have gone on for quite a while before that."

Janice called the emergency services and they arrived within minutes.

The family anxiously watched the fire throughout the morning while they packed the animals in case a swift getaway was required.

Danny, 20, was full of praise for the fire service who eventually got the fire under control. Smoke was still billowing from the site five hours after it was reported, though the faint smell of smoke was eventually overwhelmed by the stench of methane.

Janice raised concerns about nearby methane pipes.

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