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Major fire at Northern Ireland MRF

A major fire at a MRF in Northern Ireland was being tackled by 75 firefighters and 12 engines, including specialist high-reach vehicles.

The crews were sent to Wastebeater’s facility in west Belfast after an alarm was raised at 4.37pm on 31 August. The fire stretched across an area of almost 120sq m and flames reached up two floors. A high volume of smoke was created and a plume went across the M1 motorway.

All staff were evacuated from the premises on arrival of the firefighters, who wore breathing apparatus and used hosereel jets to tackle the blaze.

Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) warned residents to avoid the surrounding area to leave emergency access available.

Group commander Keith Black said at the time: “It is likely that it will take a number of hours to fully contain.”

A spokesman for Wastebeater said all of its staff working at the Kennedy Way plant were accounted for and had left the site.

“Wastebeater management is co-operating fully with the NIFRS and other emergency services. We acknowledge the inconvenience caused to local people and we will do all that we can to minimise disruption over the hours and days ahead.

“We have contingency plans in place to deal with any major incident and those plans were activated immediately.

“We are contacting our customers and they can be assured that, despite this setback, we will be open for business tomorrow and their waste management service will not be impacted. We will endeavour to keep local people informed as the situation develops.”

By the morning, the operation was scaled back to six engines, with NIFRS saying the fire had been contained.

At 1pm, NIFRS said only four engines and 25 firefighters remained at the scene and were expected to be dampening down for the next 24 hours.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Pictures used with permission of NIFRS

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