Fire in Swansea to burn for days with “few tonnes” of shredded tyres
A former Mettoys factory on the Fforestfach industrial estate in Swansea has been burning since at least lunchtime yesterday (16 June), and appears likely to continue to do so into the weekend, as 50 firefighters work to control the blaze. The reason for the fire’s resilience and size appears to be “several tonnes” of shredded tyres that were being stored on the site, according to the BBC’s local news report at the scene. The corporation quotes firefighter Richard Fry: “The product is quite a number of feet thick in places and it's a very deep seat burning and very slow burning. It's a rubber product from reused vehicle tyres and it's the by-product of the process that was used to recycle these tyres. There's quite a few tonnes in there. We expect this to continue for a number of days yet."
The Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service has released a statement warning residents and workers in the area to stay indoors and keep windows shut as it monitors the quality of air in the surrounding area, while a Serious Incident Room has been set up at Swansea’s Central Police Station. The agency is also concerned about pollution in the Fforestfach Stream, and the Environment Agency Wales has “deployed booms and other pollution control equipment to minimise any pollution”, continuing to monitor the stream as well as air quality. “The Agency is assisting Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service with its response by providing technical advice and helping to contain any potentially contaminated firewater,” the Fire service statement concluded.
It has not yet been reported with whom the responsibility for the storage of the tyres lies, and whether the waste tyre rubber was being stored legally. A video, with some still photos, showing the extent of the fire on Thursday has been posted on YouTube by user esoncar (embedded below).