Fire at Littleport continues to burn and health bosses offer further advice for residents

PUBLISHED: 11:36 03 September 2009 | UPDATED: 09:14 02 June 2010

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FURTHER health advice was issued today for residents concerned about a fire which continues to burn at a tyre yard in Littleport. The fire started on August 21, at Murfitts Industries in Wisbech Road, and smoke has continued to pour from it. Those living

FURTHER health advice was issued today for residents concerned about a fire which continues to burn at a tyre yard in Littleport.

The fire started on August 21, at Murfitts Industries in Wisbech Road, and smoke has continued to pour from it.

Those living in the immediate vicinity of the fire are being offered alternative accommodation by the local authority.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) is reiterating its health advice to the people of Littleport, following a decision by the Fire Service to return to the site to supervise some of the clean up work.

Part of the work involves breaking up some of the piles of tyres and rubber products which are still burning.

This will enable more air into the fire and enable it to burn quicker - but as a result there will be an increase in the amount of smoke.

Dr Kate King from HPA, said: "The general advice remains that people should do all they can to stay out of the smoke.

"If the smoke is blowing in your direction you need to take shelter. Staying indoors with the doors and windows closed will provide a good level of protection. People should remember that smoke is an irritant, so can make your eyes and throat sore."

The HPA advice is that it's unlikely people will suffer significant risks to their health from this incident as the smoke will be diluted by the wind.

In addition the effects from smoke weaken the further away from the fire you are.

But smoke from all fires contains particles, which if in high enough concentration, may be harmful to the health of vulnerable people.

Dr King, said: "If you already have asthma or other breathing problems, inhaling the smoke can trigger an attack.

"If your eyes are sore, bathe them with cold tap water until they feel comfortable. Drinking some water or sucking a throat sweet will ease a sore throat.

"If smoke triggers an asthma attack, use the inhalers you normally use to relieve an attack and call NHSDirect (0845 46 47) or your GP for advice if they don't seem to be working."

The fire service said that millions of gallons of water would be needed to extinguish the fire and so therefore they are allowing it to burn out.


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