Fen tyre fire could burn for another week

PUBLISHED: 19:01 28 August 2009 | UPDATED: 09:14 02 June 2010

Firefighters at the blaze at Murfitts tyre yard

Firefighters at the blaze at Murfitts tyre yard

A fire was today still burning - a week after it raged through a recycling centre in the Fens.

Smoke could be seen from 40 miles away after the Murfitt s yard on the outskirts of Littleport went up last Friday.

More than 60 firefighters from across Cambri

A fire was today still burning - a week after it raged through a recycling centre in the Fens.

Smoke could be seen from 40 miles away after the Murfitt's yard on the outskirts of Littleport went up last Friday.

More than 60 firefighters from across Cambridgeshire were called to the site, where 2000 tonnes of tyres were awaiting processing.

But senior officers decided to allow the blaze to burn out rather than attempt to put it out.

Cambridgeshire fire and rescue service said it expected the fire to continue burning for at least another week.

"The rubber had fused and sealed the surface but there are pockets of fire underneath that," the county's assistant chief fire officer Neil Newberry said on Friday.

"If we put water on, it will increase the smoke and the toxins will not be burned off."

Mr Newberry added there were also fears water used to fight the fire would leach into groundwater.

The site, on the A1101 Wisbech Road, is close to the Wildfowl and Wetland trust's reserve at Welney Washes, the Hundred Foot and Delph .

Residents have been assured the smoke will not cause a long-term health risk.

A leaflet explaining why the decision was taken to allow the fire to burn itself out is being delivered to neighbouring homes.

Tyres were shredded on the site and ground down into pellets, to be recycled into doormats and other household items.

From the road, the yard is a complete scene of devastation with burned out lorries, buildings and scorched trees. The cause of the blaze is not yet known.


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