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30 firefighters battle 'severe' Darlaston battery blaze

By Tom Oakley | Darlaston | News | Published:

A man has been left with multiple injuries after a 'severe' blaze at a battery recycling centre saw smoke pour over the Black Country today.

Smoke from a fire at G&P Batteries pours into the sky above Darlaston. Photo: @ChristoffMr

Six crews with more than 30 firefighters tackled the flames at G&P Batteries off Willenhall Road, Darlaston, after they were called shortly before 2pm.

Batteries exploded and plumes of grey smoke could be seen billowing upwards from the roof of the site on the Crescent Works Industrial Estate, before the flames were fully extinguished around an hour later.

One man suffered multiple wounds - including cuts, bruises and burns to his hands - and was rushed to the major trauma centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “While firefighters brought the blaze under control, ambulance staff dealt with a 26-year-old man who had suffered multiple wounds across his body, his head and face, as well as both arms and legs. He also had burns on both hands.

“Ambulance staff dressed his wounds and stabilised his condition before taking him to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham for further assessment and treatment."

A West Midlands Fire Service spokesman said a 'severe' fire had been burning in an area used to store lithium batteries.

"Firefighters using breathing apparatus and went in to tackle the fire but the conditions were particularly hot and arduous so crews had to regularly rotate so they could rest and recover," they said.

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"At 2.22pm said good progress had been made but there was heavy smoke that had to be vented through the roof of the building."

There were two similar blazes at G&P Batteries in 2014

Crews were sent from across the region, including from Smethwick, West Bromwich, Willenhall, Tipton, Bilston and Walsall stations, and the blaze was fully extinguished by 3.15pm.

Explosions could be heard on a video taken at the scene and shared on Twitter by Nathan Poole:

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Reporter Jordan Harris was at the site just near the Black Country Route, where G&P collects, sorts and recycles a variety of batteries.

Three years ago the centre was hit by two similar blazes, also involving a storage area for lithium batteries, inside two months.

Tom Oakley

By Tom Oakley
Trainee Multi-Media Journalist

Express & Star reporter responsible for covering Walsall and Staffordshire. Got a story? Email tom.oakley@expressandstar.co.uk or call 01902 319482.

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