Crews call for extra help in tackling recycling centre fire

FIRE crews from across the county spent all night and most of yesterday battling to tackle a blaze at a recycling plant. Carlisle East and Carlisle West Fire Stations received a call at about 11.50pm on Tuesday when Thackwood Materials Recycling Facility, near Southwaite, caught fire. Crews found the recycling plant well alight, with a large steel framed building and various piles of recyclables ablaze.

Carlisle West crew manager Carl Pearson said: "When we arrived the fire was well established and we realised there was a water shortage so called on extra resources. "Staff from the recycling centre also assisted to remove some of the mounds for us to extinguish. "At present the cause is unknown and crews are continuing dampening down."

Crews requested a further four appliances, from Lazonby, Brampton, Wigton and Penrith, as well as a water bowser and command support unit from Penrith and a water-carrying truck from Appleby. Brampton fire crew received the call at about 3am and was in attendance for about four hours. Throughout the day more than five fire vehicles could be seen continuing dampening efforts.

One fireman said: "When we arrived last night it was move substantial than it is now and it was in the main facility." It is believed that about 20m by 30m of processed household waste was ablaze inside the industrial unit. In total 40 firefighters from a wide area of Cumbria were used.

No injuries and no damage to the residential property has been reported. The commercial building, however, has been mostly destroyed by the fire. The blaze is not being treated as suspicious.

Speaking yesterday day after the fire was brought under control, a spokesman for Carlisle East Fire Station said: "Our aerial ladder platform was used to provide a water tower to extinguish the blaze from a safe distance while all other appliances provided us with water and support.

"Crews are still on scene to extinguish flare-ups while the site owners pull apart the mounds of material for us to extinguish.

"We are expected to have a presence at the incident for most of the day and water supplies in the area may be affected."

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