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Staffordshire plastics fire was arson

Milton fire

A major fire in a plastic recycling facility in Staffordshire this week was started deliberately, investigators have concluded.

Emergency services were called to Hanbury Plant Recycling Centre in Milton, Stoke-on-Trent, on Sunday morning. At its height, the blaze was being tackled by more than 50 firefighters.

Operations have now been scaled down to two engines and a high-volume pump as crews continue to tackle the fire from the outside of the building.

Three days after the call-out, fire investigation officer Ian Broadhead said: “We have worked closely with Staffordshire Police during the investigation and concluded that the fire was started deliberately.

“The service will now be helping police with their investigation and further enquiries.”

The Environment Agency (EA) has confirmed that Hanbury Plastics Recycling (Stoke), operated an illegal site at Milton.

“They have never held an environmental permit and the EA has issued legal notices to clear the waste plastics from the site,” the agency said.

”The EA instructed the company to remove the waste which went from a peak of around 10,000 tons, to about 1,500 tons at the time of the fire.”

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