Refuse Collection Vehicle Saved From Fire!

Published Monday 18 March 2024 at 14:24

The refuse team found themselves in a tricky situation during what was planned to be a regular trade waste collection round in Duttons Way, Blackburn on Friday, 8th March.

After emptying a large commercial waste container into their vehicle, the team noticed that it had unexpectedly started to smoulder. Upon further inspection, they noticed a small fire had ignited inside the collection vehicle.

The vehicle, worth £230,000 was at risk of being written off completely however the team on the ground, consisting of Matt Bird and Rob Daye sprung into action and used a fire extinguisher from the vehicle to suppress it. Following advice from Manager Gareth Lynch, the load was taken to a Suez waste management site, who arranged for the vehicle to be tipped out in a safe location. Once the load was on the ground it fully ignited but was swiftly put under control.

Councillor Jim Smith, Executive Member for Environment said:

Thanks to the team’s quick response they managed to save the fleet vehicle from severe damage. It’s not a situation anyone foresees being involved in, however the three dealt with it in a very professional manner. A big thank you must go to Matt, Rob and Gareth for acting so quickly and efficiently. And also to Suez for helping to resolve the situation.

The vehicle has been thoroughly checked and thankfully, received no damage. It has been declared safe and is back in action.

It’s believed that a lithium battery may have caused the fire. You can help avoid fires in refuse vehicles and centres by never binning batteries or vapes. Leave small electrical items including batteries and vapes in a carrier bag next to your blue or grey recycling bin on collection day, or for your nearest battery drop-off recycling point visit and search “Batteries”. Vapes can also be disposed of through take-back schemes with the retailer.

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