Filthy fire burns for 43 days
5:00am Wednesday 3rd September 2014 in By Craig Jones, Reporter
FIREFIGHTERS are making good progress in their battle to put out the Averies Recycling blaze but are still unsure when it’ll be out.
The fire started on July 21- 43 days ago - and 2,500 tonnes of non-hazardous waste has been removed from the Marshgate site, in a bid to give firefighters room to intensify their efforts tackling the blaze.
Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service has been working with Averies, Swindon Council, the Environment Agency, NHS England and Wiltshire Police to deal with the incident.
Ian Jeary, Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service area manager, said: “In terms of getting the fire out, we are talking weeks rather than days, unfortunately.
“I cannot be drawn to put an end date on it as we don’t definitely know at this stage.
“We are working hard to get this issue resolved as soon as we can.”
Much of Swindon has suffered from smoke caused by the fire. It was expected this would get stronger, in the air, as firefighters stepped up their efforts to put out the blaze.
Mr Jeary said: “We have been working hard to reduce the disruption to the community.
“The smoke hasn’t been to the levels we’d expected. This is a good point as we’re making good progress and not making things more difficult for the community.”
The council and Public Health England will continue monitoring the air quality. Residents are asked to keep their windows closed whenever possible.
Since the fire broke out, Averies has repeatedly apologised for affect it has had on neighbouring residents and businesses.
Lee Averies, the company’s managing director, said: “I am very sorry that this fire has had such a significant affect on so many people.
“I regret any discomfort or inconvenience that residences or businesses may have suffered.”
The fire service has also praised the public for understanding the difficulties they’ve encountered and said a fire of this nature would usually be allowed to burn out naturally, which could take several months.
As Marshgate in a built up area the authorities decided to combat the blaze.
Mr Jeary said: “I’d like to say thank you to the community for all their help and support. I’m hopeful they can see the progress that we are making and I’d ask them to bear with us for a little while longer.
“This is an exceptional incident which is rare nationally - let alone locally.”
Anyone who is being affected by smoke from the fire is asked to seek medical advice by calling their GP or NHS 111.
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