Walsall tyre fire sends smoke pluming into skies
A large pile of fly-tipped rubbish, which included up to 60 tyres, went up in flames, sending a thick plume of smoke into the Black Country skyline.
Around 15 tons of rubbish, which also included a range of furniture, caught light on land next to a derelict building in Walsall.
The heavy smoke from the blaze in Bentley Mill Way spread towards the M6 and the Black Country Route at just after 4pm yesterday.
Two fire crews from Walsall, who could see the black smoke as they left their town centre station, managed to put out the fire within 45 minutes.
This managed to restrict the impact on rush-hour traffic using the main commuter routes. The smoke was also visible from Wednesbury.
Firefighter David Brown said: "We left the station and turned onto Wolverhampton Road and you could see the smoke then. It was thick black smoke."
He added that despite initial calls saying that the building was on fire, it was contained to the rubbish. They remained at the scene for just over an hour.
Among the rubbish which was on fire were a settee, cupboard, bed and sawdust.
The fire did not spread to the neighbouring derelict building, which is believed to have previously been a restaurant.
It is not confirmed whether the tyres and rubbish were deliberately set on fire.
None of the trading businesses nearby, Cinammon Court and Chiquito restaurants, were affected.
But they said it was not the first time there had been a fire on the land, which lies between Bentley and Darlaston. A worker at Chiquito, who did not want to be named, said they did not need to evacuate but there was concern at the amount of smoke.
"It was quite thick, it was quite worrying at the time. It looked quite bad and the smoke was drifting. At least once or twice a month there are fires there. We get a regular van come and dump rubbish," the worker added.
Staff at Cinammon, which was not open at the time, said they have also had problems with waste being dumped behind their business and there had been previous fires near the derelict building site.
Worker Kabir Ahmed said: "There have been a few fires there before.
"Then people have been dumping rubbish behind our premises. It is a pain to get rid of. We have to pay to get rid of it."
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