Smoke billows above Cannock after blaze at storage container site

By Megan Archer | Cannock | News | Published:

A blaze at a huge shipping containers yard in Cannock went on for nearly three hours with smoke plumes visible for miles around.

It happened after hydraulic lifting machinery at the 30-acre site in Pentalver Way caught fire.

A member of staff using the equipment to move storage containers noticed something smelled like it was burning on Wednesday morning.

When he got off the machine to investigate, he noticed it was on fire.

Staff were then immediately evacuated and the depot had to shut down until it was safe to re-open later in the day.

WATCH firefighters battle the blaze here:

Firefighters tackle Cannock storage container blaze

Firefighters from Cannock and Bloxwich were at the scene of the container storage and distribution site in Pentalver Way for nearly three hours, after they were called to battle the flames at about 10am.

The Environment Agency was also made aware due to the large amount of diesel in the area.


General manager at Pentalver Cannock Nick Matthews said: “A fire was noticed by one of our employees in the engine compartment of one of our Reach Stacker machines.

“Immediately the fire brigade were called and the area was evacuated and made safe.

“The depot remained closed until the situation was contained and it was safe to reopen. There were no injuries.”

A small amount of oil was spilled onto the floor, from the hydraulic machine, which crew members cleaned to make the area safe.


A spokesperson for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue confirmed one heavy lifting machine had set alight.

She said: “It’s a large piece of machinery, to lift the heavy containers. Someone was using it and thought they could smell burning, and it turned out the machine had caught fire. But they don’t know the exact cause yet.”

Pentalver’s site in Cannock was built in 2007. The site stretches across almost 30 acres – with 22 of those just for containers – and is also home to the firm’s largest transport operation with more than 150 vehicles.

Pentalver also has storage facilities in Felixstowe, Southampton, London Gateway and Tilbury.

Megan Archer

By Megan Archer
Deputy Chief Reporter - @MeganA_Star

Deputy Chief Reporter with the Express & Star. Give me a call on 01902 319363 or email


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