£100,000 damage in Hednesford scrapyard blaze

A major fire which devastated a metal recycling plant in Hednesford caused more than £100,000 worth of damage, its owner revealed today.

£100,000 damage in Hednesford scrapyard blaze

The fire ripped through a unit at Chase Metal Recycling on Thursday night, sending plumes of smoke which were visible for miles around.

Around 20 firefighters tackled the blaze and despite crews having it under control within an hour-and-a-half, the fire destroyed specialist machinery as well as around 100 tonnes of scrap metal,

The fire service and police were yesterday investigating the cause to the blaze.

Fire crews at the scene of the blaze at Chase Metal Recycling

Darren Owen, managing director of the firm based in East Cannock Road, said: "The damage is in excess of £100,000. It has devastated my business, I don't know what we will do now.

"At this stage we are open minded on the cause of the fire – we will work with the police and fire service to identify the cause, no stone will remain unturned."

The married father-of-one set up his business in 1998 and has been trading metal recycling since 2007. He said: "The business is my life. I started with nothing and built it up. We worked day and night and a lot of blood, sweat and tears have gone into this place."

The fire in Hednesford. Twitter picture from @Samski18

He added: "We do keep a gap between the piles but there was a strong wind and the fire went straight up the yard. I am in shock and it is devastating but luckily no one was hurt."

The blaze ripped through the offices on the site and destroyed specialist equipment including a weigh bridge and a specialist machine for moving scrap metal.

A clean-up operation started yesterday and the site, which employs around 10 full and part time staff, reopened this morning.

Mr Owen said: "The lads have been fantastic they have stayed with me through the night to help ensure the business is operational again.

He added: "Nothing is salvageable from the machine and we can't operate without a scrap handler." The firm is appealing for witnesses and Mr Owen said: " If any members of the public have any information that may be useful we urge you to contact the police or ourselves."

He added: "We would like to thank the fire service who worked through the night to bring the fire under control and damping down.

"Without their prompt and professional action things could have been much worse for all of us."

A spokesman for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue said: "Due to the damage caused by the fire, it has not been possible to ascertain what caused it or whether it was accidental or deliberate."

Police closed the A460 East Cannock Road and Old Hednesford Road, Hawks Green area and asked people to avoid the area during the time of the blaze on Thursday night.

Staffordshire Fire control took more than 50 calls about the blaze and neighbouring businesses were evacuated

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