The first blaze, on the 21st August, engulfed more than 150 tonnes of plastic and waste. More than 30 fire fighters battled the inferno for over six hours at the disused plastic factory on Paterson Street in Blackburn.
The site was previously owned by V10 polymers until the firm went into liquidation but it was now unclear who owns it.
Around 30 homes had to be evacuated for the second time on the 28th September as the plastic factory was ablaze again. More than 70 firefighters battled the flames this time and the site was still burning more than 24 hours after it started.
A fire service spokesman said the exact quantity of waste which was burnt by the fire us unknown, but it is believed “1000s or possibly 10,000s of tonnes” has been destroyed.
At the height of the fire, 10 fire crews from Blackburn, Hyndburn, Darwen, Burnley, Presto n and Bamber Bridge were called to the scene to help contain the fire.
The smoke could be seen by morning commuters on the M65.
A fire service spokesman said: “we had to deal with bits of burning debris being thrown from the blaze onto nearby houses and firefighters had to make sure they did not spread.”
A drone used by the fire service provided an aerial perspective of the incident.
A spokesman from the Environment Agency commented, “Our main concern was the debris going into the canal and contaminating it. Booms were put in place to stop the contamination spreading.”
Local residents are angry as they have been complaining for years about this disused plastic factory, saying “this was waiting to happen because the waste just kept building up and up.
Structural assessments are due to be carried out in the near future, to ensure the safety of residents.
A local resident suggested turning it into houses or a green space for children to play in.
Due to the first fire being labelled as ‘potentially suspicious’ Blackburn Fire Station manager Neil Hardiman asked everyone to ‘remain vigilant’ and for neighbours to alert the police or the fire service if they saw any suspicious activity at the site.
Original Source: Lancashire Telegraph
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