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Fire bosses on cause of large waste fire

Fire bosses say a major waste fire in Stoke-on-Trent last night was caused by embers of a lit brazier.

Crews from Sandyford and Hanley were called at 8.13pm on Monday, July 8 to reports of a large fire on Newport Lane.

Initially, firefighters used two main jets to tackle the blaze then a foam solution was added, which could soak into the waste. The fire took several hours to extinguish, and nearby residents were asked to keep windows and doors closed because of the thick smoke it produced. It is thought that the fire was started by embers from a lit brazier on the site.

Station Manager David Steele, who is a Waste Fire Tactical Advisor said: “This was a serious fire involving a large amount of waste. The area was well alight when we arrived and the smoke was spreading very quickly. We had to ascertain whether there were any hazardous substances in the waste, and devise the best method of extinguishing the fire quickly and safely. 

“We added a dilution of Class A foam concentrate to water from the Cheadle water carrier and later on we used an excavator to dig out the waste. Waste fires are very different in nature to building fires and it can take a long time to put them out. We have to think about the effect on the local environment as well as using all methods available to us to extinguish a fire like this.”

The first Waste Fires Tactical Advisor course was held at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s headquarters last December. The aim of the course was to provide the attendees with the skills to become effective Waste Fire Tactical Advisors and for them to become National Resilience assets. The increase in both legal and illegal waste sites means this is an issue which affects services nationally and one which the Fire Service cannot afford to overlook.

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