Major incident declared after 120 firefighters battle raging inferno at Birmingham recycling plant
A major incident has been declared after 100 firefighters from various West Midlands fire stations tackled a fiery inferno at a paper recycling plant in Mount Street, Birmingham.
The Smurfit Kappa site, located in Nechells, was engulfed by an enormous fire on Sunday night around 7:30pm.
West Midlands Fire Service stated that over 120 firefighters took part in the battle to control the raging inferno that consumed over 8,000 tonnes of paper.
The massive stacks of paper and cardboard went up in smoke and the resulting apocalyptic images resemble the iconic stones of Stonehenge crowned by flames.
The fire crews responded to calls at around 7:30pm on Sunday (12 June) and multiple fire engines, including over 20 fire appliances, were rushed to the scene in Nechells.
The fire crews resorted to using water from the nearby River Rea to douse the fire towering across the recycling plant.
Emergency services instructed motorists to keep away from the area and closed off the A47 Heartlands Parkway – which links into Birmingham city centre – while firefighters tackled the fiery inferno.
Local residents were told to close all windows and keep indoors. The plumes of smoke could be seen many miles away and residents as far away as Harborne could smell the smoke.
West Midlands Fire Area Commander Sam Burton, who was present at the scene of the fire, stated that fire teams are expected to be at the scene for a few days.
A spokesperson for West Midlands Fire Service said: “At 19:40 on Sunday 12 June, we were called to an incident on Mount Street, Nechells, Birmingham.
“This incident involves a large amount of paper and cardboard bales on fire at a warehouse.”
“We currently have more than 20 fire appliances in attendance – including two aerial hydraulic platforms, multiple fire engines, a high volume water pumping unit, and one of our drones.
“Crews from stations across the West Midlands are working extremely hard to tackle the blaze using main jets.
“We are working closely with Police and Ambulance colleagues, the Environment Agency, Severn Trent Water, and on-site staff, to bring the incident to a safe conclusion.
“There are no reports of any casualties. It’s expected that crews will be in attendance throughout the night.”
Scores of firefighters remained at the scene of the devastation as dawn broke on Monday morning.
An investigation will be conducted into this major incident and specialist fire personnel will look into what caused the shocking inferno at the paper recycling plant.