Seventy firefighters tackle blaze at Perry Barr waste plant

A fire ripped through a waste recycling plant today, closing a major route during rush hour.

More than 70 firefighters were sent to Premier Waste UK in Perry Barr just before 3am after the blaze broke out in a warehouse unit containing materials for recycling. Around 500 tons of materials were alight.

Fifteen fire engines were at the scene at the height of the blaze and the busy Walsall Road was closed during the rush hour. The road fully reopened at around 8.25am.

It is not yet known how the fire started and officers were today continuing their investigations. Company diggers this morning moved into the unit to remove the waste so firefighters could dampen it down throughout the rest of the day.

A small unit of firefighters was expected to remain on site until tomorrow.

The fire broke out in a warehouse containing waste and recycling materials, mainly from building sites. The materials were loose and not kept in bales.

Station commander David Hilton said: “We’ve been using water from the mains and from the local canal. The majority of the fire is out. We are using the site diggers to bring the waste out into an open area so it can be damped down by firefighters.”

Mr Hilton said no nearby homes were evacuated, but residents had been advised to keep windows and doors closed as there was still smoke issuing from the site.

No one was injured, but the fire caused some structural damage to the building.

The blaze was at the third recycling plant to catch fire in the region in the past few months – including one of the biggest infernos West Midlands Fire Service has ever had to deal with.