Fire crews praised for saving nearby sites while tackling a huge fire at a south Warwickshire recycling plant

At the height of the incident, residents were advised to close doors and windows to avoid exposure to excessive smoke

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 5:24 pm

Fire crews who were called out to a fire at a recycling plant in a south Warwickshire village have been praised for their actions in both tackling the fire and for limiting the impact on the local environment.

Warwickshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service is continuing to oversee the safe management of a substantial fire at Pure Recycling, just outside Ettington.

Following consultation with both Public Health England and the Environment Agency yesterday evening (Monday July 19) a decision was made to allow the fire to burn itself out completely once the initial fire was brought under control, and to concentrate efforts on protecting risks to the surrounding area.

The fire at the recycling plant in Ettington. Photo by Warwickshire Fire and Rescue

The aim of this approach was to limit the run off from contaminated water into the brook which runs through the site and finds its way into the River Avon at Charlecote Park.

Once the fire was contained, it was then allowed to burn itself out after crews had seen how well it was burning and how the building was collapsing in on itself.

At the height of the incident, residents were advised to close doors and windows to avoid exposure to excessive smoke.

As well as managing the fire at the recycling plant, firefighters were simultaneously fighting the adjacent field fire, which was threatening to engulf Ettington Garage.

The fire at the recycling plant in Ettington. Photo by Warwickshire Fire and Rescue

Working tirelessly in intense heat, the crews quickly stopped the spread before it reached the boundary hedge. 

Talking about the management of the incident, Incident Commander Jon Arnold said: “The fire is now much reduced and is contained within the building which, as expected, has mainly collapsed in on itself.

"The plan now is to continue to allow the fire to burn out until the insurers have arranged for demolition teams to be onsite, at which point we will be on hand to deal with any remaining hot spots.

"It is expected this will happen in the next couple of days, and certainly by the end of the week.

“This strategy is regularly used in incidents like this to reduce the impact on both the local community and the local environment.

Warwickshire County Council’s portfolio holder for fire and rescue and community safety, Cllr Andy Crump, said: “Our dedicated crews worked extremely quickly in very difficult conditions and not only managed a potentially serious fire, but did so in a way that greatly limited any damage to the local environment.

"This additional facet to the operation will not have been seen but should be recognised for protecting the local environment both immediately and in the longer term.”

The cause of the fire is, as yet, unknown but will be investigated.