A 115-YEAR-OLD waste firm is being urged to move from an industrial estate after being hit by a second major blaze in three years.

Concerns have mounted over the safety of residents and businesses near FD Todd, on Thirsk Industrial Estate, after the fire started in an industrial unit containing 150 tonnes of bagged household rubbish at 5am on Monday.

Up to 40 firefighters spent several hours bringing it under control and part of the road running through the estate was closed.

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A North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue spokeswoman said after two days at the site firefighters had dampened most of the hot spots in the building and would return to inspect it today (Thursday, June 12).

She said the cause had yet to be established.

An inquiry into a blaze in 2011, which destroyed three buildings on the site, found it had been caused by a build-up of organic materials breaking down, creating heat, which had spontaneously combusted.

Following the 2011 fire, attempts to find an different site for the business, which has 55 staff half of whom live in Thirsk area, stalled due to a lack of alternatives.

Councillor Mark Robson, leader of Hambleton District Council, which owns the industrial estate, said while North Yorkshire County Council was responsible for deciding the firm’s location, he felt FD Todd needed to move elsewhere.

He said: “It is a very successful business that has outgrown the site and is running the wrong type of operation for it.

“My concern is for residents living nearby and the other businesses on the estate which could be affected, as it could be only a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt.”

Thirsk county councillor Gareth Dadd said he would urge the authority’s planning department to help find an alternative location for the business and seek assurances over the safety of residents.

A spokesman for the firm said it welcomed the councillors’ offer to help it seek an alternative site and that it was committed to remaining in the town.

He added: “About a third of the site has been affected, so our priority is to get everything back in working order.”