Fierce fire at timber plant near Cannock

Arsonists are believed to be behind a fierce fire which saw almost 500 tons of timber at a composting plant near Cannock go up in smoke.

The scene after a fire at Bloomfield Composting, in Cocksparrow Lane, Huntington, near Cannock.

Arsonists are believed to be behind a fierce fire which saw almost 500 tons of timber at a composting plant near Cannock go up in smoke.

At its height almost 40 firefighters were involved in tackling the severe blaze which erupted on Saturday night at Bloomfield Composting's site in Huntington.

Crews from Penkridge and Chase Terrrace were still damping down today.

The plant, based on Cocksparrow Lane, specialises in providing compost and soil improving fertiliser.

Managing director David Humphries was not available to comment today on the impact on the business which is part of Bloomfield Recycling.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service believe the fire was started deliberately around 8.30pm on Saturday.

The flames quickly took hold of the chipboard and timber and spread rapidly. In total six fire crews from across the area including Cannock, Penkridge, Stafford, Lichfield and a water carrier from Cannock rush-ed to the scene of the blaze.

Huge plumes of smoke filled the air as the crews arrived with the flames well alight and in a deep seated bay area of the plant.

Initially the firefighters struggled to gain access to the plant but once inside were able to assess the fire and it is thought it covered an area of 150 square metres.

The fire crews were able to bring the flames under control by splitting the fire into two areas and contained it during the night using hose reel jets.

Due to the nature of the fire and the temperatures involved firefighters were delayed at the scene throughout Saturday night and Sunday morning while they continued damping down the fire. A spokesman for the fire service said: "It is believed the fire was deliberately started."

Anyone with information about the fire should contact Staffordshire Police on 0300 123 4455 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

By Shaun Lintern