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20 tonnes of recycling causes five hour fire at Norfolk recycling centre

PUBLISHED: 17:07 15 June 2018 | UPDATED: 11:43 16 June 2018

Fire at Viridor in Wretham near Thetford. Picture: Marc Betts

Fire at Viridor in Wretham near Thetford. Picture: Marc Betts

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More than 30 firefighters were called out to battle 20 tonnes of recycling material that had ignited at a Norfolk recycling centre just eight months after a previous fire.

Fire at Viridor in wretham near Thetford. Picture: Marc BettsFire at Viridor in wretham near Thetford. Picture: Marc Betts

Crews from across the county were called to Viridor recycling centre in Wretham, near Thetford, at 11.15am on Friday, June 15.

Seven crews in total were at the scene from 11.21am with two from Thetford, two from Hethersett and one fire engine from Attleborough, Watton and Harleston.

Derek Sim, south district station manager, said: “It was approximately 10 to 20 tonnes of dry matter recycling contained within one building.

“Unfortunately the peat ignited which has spread to the adjoining material causing the fire.

Fire at Viridor in Wretham near Thetford. Picture: Marc BettsFire at Viridor in Wretham near Thetford. Picture: Marc Betts

“We used compressed air to tackle the flames before using water sprays and an industrial grabber to move the remaining material.”

The fire was finally put out at around 4pm after 31 fire fighters attended the site near Thetford Road.

Mr Sim added later: “We will revisit it later in the night to check for hot spots.

“We think there may have been some self heating in the load that was delivered there or there could have been a cross contamination - someone put something in there they were not suppose too.”

Fire at Viridor in Wretham near Thetford. Picture: Marc BettsFire at Viridor in Wretham near Thetford. Picture: Marc Betts

No-one was injured in the incident but ambulances were sent to the site.

A spokesman for East of England Ambulance Service said: ”We were called at 11.36am this morning to reports of a large industrial fire on Thetford Road, Wretham.

“We sent a HART (hazardous area response team) vehicle and two rapid response vehicles to the scene.

“There were no injuries and no-one needed transferring to hospital.”

In September 2017, more than 90 firefighters were called to the disposal centre to battle a blaze of 600 degrees which happened in the early hours of the morning on September 6. No-one was injured.

At the fire’s height, 14 appliances were on the scene, including three from Suffolk and firefighters were still on the scene at 2.30pm.

As well as fire engines, an aerial ladder platform, water carrier and control unit were used.

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