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WEEE recyclers praised after blaze

2000 cambridgeshire fire service

Fire-fighters have praised business owners, employees and the public after tackling a major fire at a WEEE recycling plant in Cambridgeshire.

Flames spread through Wiser Recycling’s approved authorised treatment facility in St Ives, Cambridgeshire, on Monday afternoon and the last crew left the site on Tuesday morning.

A statement from Wiser Recycling said: “Our staff evacuated very quickly and there were no injuries from the incident. But what started as a small fire took hold very quickly, and our operations and building at this site have been destroyed.

“The blaze was extinguished by Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue Service with whom we are co-operating fully. They have stated that, following a full fire investigation, the cause of the fire was determined as accidental. It is believed the most likely cause was a lithium battery that was caught up in the baling process of the recycled electrical items.”

The company apologised to local residents and businesses for any inconvenience and said it had implemented contingency plans to maintain a full service to clients.

“Our administration and transport teams are up and running, our drivers are collecting as normal and we have full access to our systems, emails and phone lines which are redirected to temporary offices at our sister company, Wiser Environment,” the statement added.

Five crews were sent to deal with the fire from St Neots, Huntingdon, Ramsey, Chatteris, Gamlingay, Ely, Cambridge, March and Thorney.

The fire service said the incident was scaled down on Monday evening. Station commander Dave Lynch, one of the officers in charge, said: “The main building where the fire started has been completely destroyed, however, fire crews worked extremely hard to prevent the fire from spreading anywhere else.

“The situation potentially could have been a lot worse as there are a number of other industrial units and businesses in very close proximity. Had it not been for the skill and hard work of the crews, there could have easily been more than one unit seriously damaged by fire.

“All the business owners, staff and members of the public from the surrounding properties were fantastic and were very supportive of the crews’ work, which our firefighters really appreciated. We would like to thank the community for its support during tough incidents like these.”

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