Fire at tyre recycling facility in Renfrewshire

Picture credit: Scottish Fire and Rescue Services

Firefighting operations at a tyre recycling plant in Renfrew, Scotland are ‘likely to be ongoing for some time’, Scottish Fire and Rescue Services has said.

A number of 999 telephone calls were received at around 10 pm last night (10 July), informing the fire service of a severe blaze at an industrial recycling establishment in the Meadowside Street area of Renfrew.

Three specialist vehicles, 15 fire appliances and approximately 75 firefighters attended the scene at the height of the fire and around 30 firefighters are still in attendance.

The fire is thought to be located at Sims Tyre Recycling plant on Neil Street, an official waste site licensed by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). However, this is yet to be confirmed.

Residents of the Renfrew area were advised yesterday evening to keep their windows and doors shut due to the large plume of smoke that was visible across much of Glasgow.

Fire crews expected to remain ‘for a considerable length of time’

Group Manager William MacDonald, currently the incident commander, said: “Crews working through the night successfully brought the fire under control but this is a protracted incident – firefighting operations are continuing and will likely be ongoing for some time.

“We currently have two high volume pumps and four standard appliances in attendance. All relief crews are now in place with about 30 firefighters still on scene.”

According to a statement from the fire services, the fire crews are expected to remain at the scene ‘for a considerable length of time’.

Tackling waste fires

Waste site fires are commonplace, with figures released last year showing that between 2001 and 2012, the average rate of fires at waste and recycling works came in at just under one per day.

Further to the environmental and social damage that waste fires cause, the cost of clearing up such fires is extensive; the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has revealed that emergency services in Scotland spent £15.9 million tackling 8,000 waste fires in 2012/13.

To reduce the outbreak of fire at waste storage sites, the EA has previously released guidance that identifies a range of measures that operators of waste storage sites should implement to minimise the risk of fire. However, Mark Tansey of fire detection supplier FireVu recently told Resource that the guidance neglects to mention fire detection and prevention technology, which he says is an ‘essential step’ to stalling and extinguishing fires.

The ESA has also recently released a draft document for fire control guidance at waste management sites.