Waste fire is still burning a week on
5:30am Monday 28th July 2014 in By Craig Jones, Reporter
FIREFIGHTERS are still dealing with the blaze at Averies Recycling a week after it first broke out, with investigations into its cause continuing.
Crews have been at the Marshgate site since the fire began last Monday. They have been working with the company’s staff to remove unaffected waste, which has helped firefighters in their efforts to put out the burning matter.
Ian Jeary, Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service senior area manager, said: “It is difficult to anticipate when it will be out but we are hopeful that we will have a positive update for the public soon. We believe we are only a few days away from having it out.
“In the meantime, we are continuing our work at the site, in partnership with Swindon Council, NHS England, the Environment Agency and Averies. We want to have the affected waste extinguished as quickly as possible.”
Mr Jeary said an investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing. He said: “We are investigating the matter with the Environment Agency. Unfortun-ately, with incidents like these it is difficult to establish what the definite cause is. We have some ideas which we are looking into but I wouldn’t want to make them public at this stage. The truth is, we might never know what caused it.”
Since the fire started smoke has been in the air across Swindon, with Averies issuing an apology last week for the inconvenience that the blaze has caused.
Owner Lee Averies said: “I am very disappointed and very tired. We haven’t had much sleep but we are trying to contain what is happening. It is a difficult time for those on site, our immediate neighbours, and the community.”
Dr Mark Evans, from Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire PHE Centre and Dr Ayoola Oyinloye, of Swindon Council’s Public Health Team, have issued a statement to those concerned about inhaling the smoke .
It reads: “Residents in areas affected by the smoke should stay indoors, keep their doors and windows closed, and visit Swindon Council’s website for further advice and information. Motorists who have to travel through the smoke should keep windows closed, turn off air conditioning and keep their air vents closed.
“Any smoke can be an irritant, if people need to be outdoors in the Swindon area, they are advised to avoid areas affected by the smoke or ash, or to limit the time that they spend in them.
“Some of the substances present in smoke can irritate the lining of the air passages, the skin and the eyes. Respiratory symptoms include coughing and difficulty in breathing, breathlessness, and chest pain.”
Anyone requiring further medical advice is asked to contact their GP or call NHS 111.