Farm fire involving 300 tonnes of wood chippings started accidentally

A large blaze in Eccleshall was caused accidentally by a metal fragment in the dust bin, according to a fire investigation.

Emergency services were called to Stone Road on Saturday November 4 at 1.41am, to reports a large farm building was on fire.

At the height of the incident six appliances attended and used one main jet, one hose reel jet and a foam system to tackle the blaze in the 50 metre by 20 metre property.

The building contained 300 tonnes of wood chippings, which were alight and made the fire very difficult to contain. In total 26 crews were involved in tackling the fire and the Service remained at the scene until 10.48pm on Tuesday November 7.

They used recycled water and allowed some of the materials to burn in a controlled manner whilst containing the fire within the one building.

Service Delivery Group Manager Toby Wilson said: “This was a large scale incident which required a lot of time and resources. It posed several difficulties for the crews; the materials inside the building were highly flammable which meant the fire could spread easily. High winds also presented a problem but the crews did a brilliant job in protecting the rest of the nearby structures.

“The area has been re-inspected on several occasions throughout the week to ensure the fire is not continuing to smoulder.”

Fire Investigation Officer Carl Mason said: “We believe the fire most likely started because a large metal fragment was unknowingly processed within some of the industrial machinery and was ejected into a dust collection bin.

"Over time we believe the heat from this metal fragment has ignited the dust and a smouldering fire has subsequently developed.”

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