Fire at Lawrence Recycling plant


Fire crews from across Hereford and Worcester, yesterday (12 December), attended a fire that broke out at a Kidderminster recycling plant owned by recycling and waste management company, Lawrence.

Crews from Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) were called to the site, known as ‘The Forge’ at approximately 10.50am on Wednesday morning to tackle a blaze at a ‘large (250m x 100m) recycling plant at the site’.

The blaze, which was confined to a large warehouse containing paper and plastic materials waiting to be recycled, resulted in no casualties or structural damage, though nearby business premises were evacuated as a precautionary measure.

Evacuations occurred as a result of high levels of smoke that, due to foggy weather conditions, had not been able to disperse. Local residents were advised to keep their windows and doors shut and a half-mile section of Stourport Road was closed in order to avoid potential risks to public health.

The 15 fire appliances, Hazmat (Hazardous Materials) Officer and Command Support Unit in attendance managed to control the blaze by approximately 3.00pm on the same day. However, a number of crews remained at the site in order to ‘damp down and turn over the waste material’.

Area Commander from HWFRS, Jon Pryce, said: “We arrived at the plant to find a deep-seated fire in a huge pile of waste materials awaiting recycling. The fire is now under control but we expect crews to remain at the site for some while yet.”

The West Mercia Police, West Midlands Ambulance Service and Environment Agency (EA) were also in attendance.

According to the HWRFS ‘the recycling plant has an excellent safety record’ and that staff at the site assisted in the task of extinguishing the flames.

The cause of the fire is not yet known, but a full investigation is now under way.  Fires at recycling sites are common and have the potential to be long lasting due to the large volume and combustible nature of the materials involved.