Fire at Jayplas Birmingham site

Jayplas fire

A large fire involving an estimated 100,000 tonnes of baled plastic broke out last night (30 June) at the Smethwick site of J&A Young (known as Jayplas).

More than 200 firefighters attended the blaze, which, according to fire officers who have looked at CCTV recordings, was started by a Chinese lantern landing on the plastic.

According to West Midlands Fire Service, the fire has been classified as a major incident, requiring on additional resources to be called in from neighbouring brigades of Hereford and Worcester, and Staffordshire. Area Commander Steve Vincent described it as the "largest fire that we've had in the West Midlands".

Although the site holds a variety of plastics, the bulk of the material involved is plastic film, J&A Young has said. The facility is primarily a bulking and baling facility, with a small amount of sorting equipment.

Eleven firefighters have needed treatment for injuries, with three being taken to hospital. A resulting smoke flume from the ongoing blaze is said to be rising 6,000 feet into the air and has been visible over 30 miles away this morning (1 July). So far flights at nearby Birmingham International Airport have not been affected.

Although the cause of the fire appears to be unrelated to any operation on the site, a tweet this morning by the West Midlands Fire Service noted: “We're seeing a trend in recycling and waste recycling site fires.”

Indeed, the fire at Jayplas comes just weeks after a 'massive' fire at a Kidderminster recycling plant owned by recycling and waste management company, Lawrence.