Explosions as huge fire rips through battery firm yard

A huge fire has ripped through a yard at a battery recycling plant today, triggering loud explosions heard from miles away.

Up to 50 firefighters were called in to tackle the blaze in an outside yard at G&P Battery Limited in Darlaston, which broke out in the early hours of this morning.

Witnesses said the explosions could be heard from five miles away, with one saying it sounded like a ‘warzone’.

Police were called in to close roads in the area for an hour-and-a-half while the fire, involving several tons of batteries, was brought under control at the premises on the Crescent Works Industrial Estate, in Willenhall Road.

The fire service had to use water from a nearby canal to put the flames out. Initial investigations show the cause of the fire to be accidental.

People took to Twitter to post comments and pictures of the fire, which broke out at around 1.30am.

Nick Evans said: “Fire woke me at 2.00am I thought I was in a war zone.”

Taxi driver Mohammed Hussain, aged 39, who lives in nearby Queen Street, said: “It was like something was blowing up, you wouldn’t believe the noise.”

The factory was open as usual today and managing director, Michael Green, said the fire was believed to have been started by waste battery stock kept in the yard.

BATTERIES TS 14
The factory at first light today

He said: “There is no damage to the property. It looks like it was contained to just some stock. We will do an investigation ourselves. It is still very early to know too much.”

Willenhall watch commander John Elsworth said today: “There were several tons of batteries well alight.

“Due to the crews’ quick actions and familiarity with the property we were able to prevent the fire spreading.

“Our fire investigation team concluded it was an accidental fire started by the short circuit of one of the batteries.”

The roads in the area were back open by 3am.

It is the second fire to break out at the site. Back in March 2008, around 50 firefighters from across the region were called in to tackle another blaze where the flames reached 100ft high.

And in 2012, one worker from the factory had to be taken to hospital, and others treated, after a suspicious acidic substance was found.

Do you have pictures or video from the blaze? Send them to Star Witness here:

 

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