Firefighters tackle serious blaze at Kilsyth chemicals factory

HOMES had to be evacuated in the early hours of yesterday morning as firefighters tackled a serious blaze in a chemical storage warehouse in North Lanarkshire.

The heat from the blaze was so intense that it left the building’s corrugated iron roof buckled and melted.

The building contained a range of chemicals which Strathclyde Fire and Rescue’s environmental protection unit was still working to identify last night.

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Crews from Strathclyde Fire and Rescue were called to the scene at 2:22am following reports of a fire at the Biffa Treatment Centre at Kilsyth.

Firefighters said that upon arrival, they faced a “developing” blaze so severe that they had to use two large-bore “ground monitor” hoses which could deliver large volumes of water onto the building in the Queenzieburn Industrial Estate from a safe distance, as they fought to prevent the fire spreading to nearby buildings on the site.

However, heat from the flames was so intense that it began to affect pallets of stored materials outside and in nearby buildings.

There was also a risk of the fire spreading to adjacent residential properties, and 12 members of the public were evacuated from their homes near the factory until it was judged safe for them to return.

The B8023 road was also closed while fire crews dealt with the incident at the waste disposal facility.

The fire service said it has ensured that any water used to tackle the blaze was contained within the site to protect the River Kelvin and surrounding farmland from any possible contamination.

Around 30 firefighters were involved in tackling the blaze at the height of the incident.

After the initial blaze was dealt with, firefighters remained at the scene throughout the morning tackling other small pockets of fire, although the incident was said to have been contained.

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A fire service spokesman said: “Strathclyde Fire and Rescue and Biffa management are working closely with representatives from the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency who are on scene to ensure that all the necessary steps are taken to protect the environment in the surrounding area.”

The spokesman added: “Firefighters remain at the scene dealing with small pockets of fire, and the incident is contained within the site with no risk to the general public.”

Police and the fire service will carry out a joint investigation into the cause of the blaze.

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