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Mattress site ablaze as yet more fires hit industry

Kent firefighters are battling a blaze at a mattress recycling site whose owner was prosecuted last year for failing to comply with waste exemptions.

The Eco Matters site at Smarden still had three fire engines in attendance at 11.30am on Tuesday, some 48 hours since the brigade was called out.

A Kent Fire and Rescue Service statement said crews were working with a demolition company, using a mechanical excavator to access a building whose burning contents were being brought out to be extinguished by hose reel jets and water supplied by a bulk water carrier and a hydrant.

“Fire crews are working in rotation in arduous conditions due to the heat, and are being provided with a ready supply of water to keep them hydrated,” it said.

“Crews are likely to be on the scene for some time, until the fire inside the building is fully extinguished.”

Two large storage units were destroyed. Crews had earlier used rakes to pull apart piles of mattresses stored outside, in which there was a deep-seated fire.

The service said it worked closely with the Environment Agency to minimise any impact on the local area.

Lewis Bertram, owner of the Eco Matters facility, was convicted in January 2017 of three charges of failing to comply with waste exemptions (pictured).

He was given a six-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and told to do 300 hours of unpaid work.

In just four days – during which at least as many large fires hit the industry – Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service sent crews to Canford Recycling Centre, Poole, where a large single-storey building used for storing waste was alight, requiring 10 fire engines, three water carriers and other support appliances to deal with it.

Service area manager Craig Baker said he expected it would be “a couple of days before it has burnt out completely”, and urged residents to keep doors and windows shut despite the heat because of smoke problems.

Leicestershire Fire & Rescue Service was called to a blaze at a site in Ulverscroft Road, Leicester, named locally as scrap metal firm AE Burgess. Seven fire engines went to an open barn storing “large amounts of recycling products involved in fire”.

London Fire & Rescue Service attended a fire at Staines Road, Feltham, where a shredding machine and several portable generators were destroyed by fire and a pile of recycling was alight.

The firm has not been named and the road has several recycling businesses.

 

 

 

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