FIREFIGHTERS last night remained at the scene of a major blaze at a recycling plant – continuing to damp down and tackle small pockets of fire.

It remained too dangerous to start an investigation into the cause of the fire yesterday, which involved hundreds of tonnes of waste material – including plastics, paper and cardboard – at Todd Waste Management, in Thirsk, North Yorkshire.

Twelve fire crews took more than 12 hours to bring the blaze under control after it spread from the main waste heap to two buildings where recycled materials are sorted and stored, and the firm’s offices.

Loading article content

It started at about 7.20pm on Tuesday.

Last night, a fire spokesman said good progress was being made in extinguishing the fire and four crews remained, together with an aerial ladder platform and a high-volume water pump.

“Those crews are now extinguishing the small pockets of fire in difficult to access areas,” he said. “Due to the extent of damage, firefighters have not entered any of the buildings which have been on fire and have not been able to establish the cause. Investigations will start as soon as possible.”

People living nearby were warned to continue to keep doors and windows shut as firefighters begin raking through the debris. However, they were assured that the thick black smoke eminating from the plant on Thirsk Industrial Park, was not toxic.

Richard Todd, managing director of FD Todd and Sons, said: “While the fire has been significant, we are very relieved that no one was on site and there are no injuries.

“Our staff reported for work as normal this morning and will continue managing the business from our other sites in Malton and York.

“Our capacity at Thirsk will be restricted for some time, but the business will continue to function as normal. We would like to reassure the community that our site is fully secure and the area is safe.”