Firefighters from three counties tackle blaze at metal scrapyard

Bourne fire
Photo: Lee Hellwing
Bourne fire Photo: Lee Hellwing
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Firefighters from three counties worked across the weekend to tackle then make safe a huge blaze at a metal scrap-yard in Bourne.

Up to 10 crews from Bourne, Spalding and Kirton went to B W Riddle, in South Fen Road, where a large pile of scrap metal went up in flames just after 4.50pm on Friday (August 25).

At one stage, crews from Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire and Nottinghamshire used water pumps and a mechanical digger to tackle the fire. Water was pumped from a nearby dyke to the scene.

One person was treated for minor injuries following the blaze.

Large clouds of smoke could be seen for up to 20 miles away and people living nearby were advised to keep windows and doors 
closed.

The fire led to South Fen Road, between Bourne and Tongue End, being closed by police.

The road closure caused problems for drivers travelling between Bourne and Spalding who had to divert along the A15 and through Baston as the A151 between Twenty and Guthram Gowt is currently closed for resurfacing work.

It took firefighters 15 hours to bring the blaze under control and fire crews were still at the scene on Sunday monitoring the area to make sure there were no further fires.

But the site was open as normal on Tuesday morning.

Matthew Berridge, of Bourne, is currently in the process of setting up his business supplying aerial photographs using drones.

After hearing about the fire from relatives, he decided to go and have a look.

He said: “The fire was quite well established by the time I got there and as you can see from the photographs it worked it’s way slowly down the large stockpile of scrap metal.

“Occasionally you could hear loud bangs but I can’t be sure of what it was due to keeping my distance in an effort not to hamper the emergency services or get too close to the fire which was being blown towards the road.

“I was on site for around two to three hours and saw ten fire engines arriving from all the neighbouring Lincolnshire areas. The police arrived shorty after me and proceeded to put a road closure in place.”

A Lincolnshire Police spokesman said: “We helped with road closures, as did some members of the public and we would like to say a big thank you to them.”

Speaking about the part its staff played during the fire, a spokesman for East Midlands Ambulance Service said: “We received a call at 6.10pm on Friday from our colleagues in the fire service requesting assistance.

“We sent a paramedic in an ambulance car, and our hazardous area response team, and one patient with minor injuries was treated at the scene.”

The B W Riddle metal recycling plant was the scene of two fires within three months of each other in 2012.

Up to 1,000 tonnes of scrap metal, plastic and rubber went up in flames in September 2012, when friction from an unknown item on a conveyor belt started the fire.

Then, in December 2012, nearly 300 tonnes of scrap metal, rubber and plastic caught fire at the site.

The cause of Friday’s fire has not been revealed.