The day the sky turned black after huge blaze

INFERNO: The scene of the fire on Sunday evening. Picture by John Anyon. 2513337201

BLACK SMOKE: Andrew Hunt’s picture from his home on the Burlish Park estate in Stourport.

BLAZE: The view from Stuart Northam’s house in George Street, Kidderminster, at 8.45pm on Sunday.

HAZARD: Fred Stockdale’s picture was taken in Stourport on Sunday evening following the blaze.

First published in News

AIR quality is being monitored by the Environment Agency close to the site of a major fire in Kidderminster.

The fire, at Lawrence Recycling in Stourport Road, broke out on Sunday at about 5.30pm.

Thousands of tonnes of rubbish caught fire and residents have been told they will see a smoke plume for about a week.

At its height on Sunday evening, roads surrounding the site were closed as about 80 firefighters brought the incident under control.

Firefighters had to use water drawn from a local canal and re-use the water coming off the site.

At one point the huge column of smoke thrown up by the blaze could be seen up to 30 miles away, including from Worcester and the Malvern Hills.

An investigation has been launched into the cause of the blaze.

The Environment Agency is undertaking air quality monitoring to help Public Health England carry out a risk assessment.

However, West Mercia Police’s incident team has not received any reports of people experiencing significant health effects from the fire. Dr David Kirrage, a consultant with the Public Health England’s West Midlands health protection team, said: “It’s important that local residents understand that the risks to their health are low, however smoke is an irritant so it can make people’s eyes and throat sore.

“It may also worsen any breathing or heart conditions they have.

“The general advice remains that people should do all they can to stay out of the smoke.

“If concerned, staying indoors with the doors and windows closed should provide some additional protection.”

People with asthma and other respiratory conditions may be particularly susceptible to the smoke and should carry and use their medication as usual.

Meanwhile, police have advised residents living nearby to keep their windows and doors closed and for motorists driving past to turn off air conditioning and keep windows and air vents closed.

Nearby schools have been told to operate as normal unless drifting smoke reaches levels that cause irritation.

Comments (21)

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4:31pm Thu 20 Jun 13

bambihorn1972@aol.com says...

I find this story a little unbelievable, having spoken to the environment agency today they stated that they are not monitoring the air quality but environmental health are! After speaking to environmental health today also, they deny all knowledge of monitoring the air quality because it is not their responsibility due to it being commercial premises! Who's job is it then? For the past four days I and many other Stourport (and probably other areas) residents have been unable to open our doors and Windows because of a heavy smog in low lying areas, this is causing sore throats, eye irritation and headaches, coincidence Or not? Also stated on the shuttle website "police incident team have had no reports of ill health"! Good luck in trying to report it because according to the police there is no incident team???????
I find this story a little unbelievable, having spoken to the environment agency today they stated that they are not monitoring the air quality but environmental health are! After speaking to environmental health today also, they deny all knowledge of monitoring the air quality because it is not their responsibility due to it being commercial premises! Who's job is it then? For the past four days I and many other Stourport (and probably other areas) residents have been unable to open our doors and Windows because of a heavy smog in low lying areas, this is causing sore throats, eye irritation and headaches, coincidence Or not? Also stated on the shuttle website "police incident team have had no reports of ill health"! Good luck in trying to report it because according to the police there is no incident team??????? bambihorn1972@aol.com
  • Score: 0

9:57pm Thu 20 Jun 13

Stephen Brown says...

Bambihorn, you are not the only one getting the runaround from the authorities, who refuse to be accepting any responsibility for it or monitoring public health. My colleagues in the Green Party have been chasing this up for 2 days without much success. It's not good enough frankly.
Bambihorn, you are not the only one getting the runaround from the authorities, who refuse to be accepting any responsibility for it or monitoring public health. My colleagues in the Green Party have been chasing this up for 2 days without much success. It's not good enough frankly. Stephen Brown
  • Score: 0

10:28pm Thu 20 Jun 13

bambihorn1972@aol.com says...

I am so glad we are not alone, it's seems like some sort of conspiracy theory to us! What are they trying to cover up? Somebody needs to be held accountable for this, we just hope that there are no long term health issues. The EA seem more concerned about the 150 people that work at the plant not the thousands of residents and environment of Wyre Forest! I hope you have more luck than us getting to the bottom of the this.
I am so glad we are not alone, it's seems like some sort of conspiracy theory to us! What are they trying to cover up? Somebody needs to be held accountable for this, we just hope that there are no long term health issues. The EA seem more concerned about the 150 people that work at the plant not the thousands of residents and environment of Wyre Forest! I hope you have more luck than us getting to the bottom of the this. bambihorn1972@aol.com
  • Score: 0

10:32pm Thu 20 Jun 13

bambihorn1972@aol.com says...

I don't know whether they have informed you ( as they did us) that until they have removed the roof the fire will continue to burn as the fire service are unable to tackle it until the unstable roof is made safe, and is the roof Asbestos?
I don't know whether they have informed you ( as they did us) that until they have removed the roof the fire will continue to burn as the fire service are unable to tackle it until the unstable roof is made safe, and is the roof Asbestos? bambihorn1972@aol.com
  • Score: 0

12:52am Fri 21 Jun 13

Stephen Brown says...

No, they have not said that.

I think there needs to be a public campaign to force the authorities to get their act together and monitor the affects on our health by sampling for dioxins etc released by the plastic that has burnt in this fire.

We were told today by the authorities that the £2,000 cost of doing proper testing for such dioxins was 'not worth it". That's what little value they place on the health of nearly 35,000 people affected by this fire. Outrageous! You can just imagine the EA, WCC et all saying "it's only Wyre Forest". That's the contempt they hold for us. Well we should send them a clear message we are worth more! If they won't do this, for a mere £2,000 for 35,000 people; just what use are these public authorities that are supposed to be responsible for ensuring public safety - that we all PAY for?

We need a petition or some kind of vote on here to test public opinion - how about it Kidderminster Shuttle?!
No, they have not said that. I think there needs to be a public campaign to force the authorities to get their act together and monitor the affects on our health by sampling for dioxins etc released by the plastic that has burnt in this fire. We were told today by the authorities that the £2,000 cost of doing proper testing for such dioxins was 'not worth it". That's what little value they place on the health of nearly 35,000 people affected by this fire. Outrageous! You can just imagine the EA, WCC et all saying "it's only Wyre Forest". That's the contempt they hold for us. Well we should send them a clear message we are worth more! If they won't do this, for a mere £2,000 for 35,000 people; just what use are these public authorities that are supposed to be responsible for ensuring public safety - that we all PAY for? We need a petition or some kind of vote on here to test public opinion - how about it Kidderminster Shuttle?! Stephen Brown
  • Score: 0

8:54am Fri 21 Jun 13

Shibdrift says...

As nothing was obviously done by anyone after the last fire at Lawrences, should we really expect anything from any authority this time?

Too much money involved for anyone to upset the apple cart appears the case here!

Why are Lawrences not made to pay for all this monitoring, checking etc.? They got aeway light last time, seems only right they should pay for this mess - they did cause it!!!
As nothing was obviously done by anyone after the last fire at Lawrences, should we really expect anything from any authority this time? Too much money involved for anyone to upset the apple cart appears the case here! Why are Lawrences not made to pay for all this monitoring, checking etc.? They got aeway light last time, seems only right they should pay for this mess - they did cause it!!! Shibdrift
  • Score: 0

2:41pm Fri 21 Jun 13

smilingshoe says...

The smog last night was utterly horrific and made me feel ill. I'm half a mile away ! I called the Environmental Health Agency who said it was nothing to do with them, they sad they were getting quite a few calls, but directed me to Worcestershire Regulatory Authority. They denied it was under their control and passed me back to EHA. They by this time they had prepared a statement telling me to contact Public Health England. I spoke with them trying to establish what the air quality monitoring had recorded last night between 6 and 12. They came back to me to let me know that a decision was taken on Tuesday evening that no further testing was required !

Its atrocious, I for one can't believe that the fumes last night were healthy. I intend to make freedom of information requests in the coming week around any increases in hospital/ health admissions in relation to breathing and other related effects.
The smog last night was utterly horrific and made me feel ill. I'm half a mile away ! I called the Environmental Health Agency who said it was nothing to do with them, they sad they were getting quite a few calls, but directed me to Worcestershire Regulatory Authority. They denied it was under their control and passed me back to EHA. They by this time they had prepared a statement telling me to contact Public Health England. I spoke with them trying to establish what the air quality monitoring had recorded last night between 6 and 12. They came back to me to let me know that a decision was taken on Tuesday evening that no further testing was required ! Its atrocious, I for one can't believe that the fumes last night were healthy. I intend to make freedom of information requests in the coming week around any increases in hospital/ health admissions in relation to breathing and other related effects. smilingshoe
  • Score: 0

2:45pm Fri 21 Jun 13

bambihorn1972@aol.com says...

Well said Stephen and I for one would be more than happy to support a petition, brushing this under the carpet will not make it go away!
Shibdrift, good question I hope they receive a very hefty bill/fine for this??
Well said Stephen and I for one would be more than happy to support a petition, brushing this under the carpet will not make it go away! Shibdrift, good question I hope they receive a very hefty bill/fine for this?? bambihorn1972@aol.com
  • Score: 0

2:50pm Fri 21 Jun 13

bambihorn1972@aol.com says...

Stephen have a look at the "we love Stourport past and present" Facebook page, there are slot of unhappy people on there complaining of sore throats, sore eyes, chest conditions and headaches! Too much of a coincidence don't you think? I have posted the telephone number of the EA online for them to officially complain:-o
Stephen have a look at the "we love Stourport past and present" Facebook page, there are slot of unhappy people on there complaining of sore throats, sore eyes, chest conditions and headaches! Too much of a coincidence don't you think? I have posted the telephone number of the EA online for them to officially complain:-o bambihorn1972@aol.com
  • Score: 0

3:21pm Fri 21 Jun 13

bambihorn1972@aol.com says...

Alot not slot stupid predictive text!
@Smilingshoe what number did they give you to contact public health? Because I haven't even got that far!
Alot not slot stupid predictive text! @Smilingshoe what number did they give you to contact public health? Because I haven't even got that far! bambihorn1972@aol.com
  • Score: 0

3:25pm Fri 21 Jun 13

smilingshoe says...

The number is local, 01562 756300. You go to a calling handling stage first which takes some details and gives you a reference number ( which is great as at least you know the concern is logged, i know EHA haven't been logging) you are then passed through to the team based in kidderminster.
The number is local, 01562 756300. You go to a calling handling stage first which takes some details and gives you a reference number ( which is great as at least you know the concern is logged, i know EHA haven't been logging) you are then passed through to the team based in kidderminster. smilingshoe
  • Score: 0

3:42pm Fri 21 Jun 13

kozmik says...

This is an environmental disaster whichever way you look at it and all the people responsible are doing their utmost to cover their own backs. I couldn't believe it when on the front page of The Shuttle, fire chiefs are quoted as saying the smoke is not hazardous to the public. Of course it's hazardous!! I'm sure I'm not the only one to think that we are witnessing a massive cover-up. I'd expect that of the "money-men" but not of the people tasked with sorting this mess out. I wouldn't even be surprised if, in 20-30 years time, when people who lived in Stourport at the present begin to develop unusual types of cancer, historians looking back find a very different story to the one we are currently being fed. This needs to be discussed at national level, don't you think? Don't let them shove this under the carpet!! We should be making more "noise" about this. I'm absolutely furious. A relative who has COPD has been unable to leave the house all week and children with asthma must be suffering. This is a nightmare and we must not allow the guilty to get away with it!!
This is an environmental disaster whichever way you look at it and all the people responsible are doing their utmost to cover their own backs. I couldn't believe it when on the front page of The Shuttle, fire chiefs are quoted as saying the smoke is not hazardous to the public. Of course it's hazardous!! I'm sure I'm not the only one to think that we are witnessing a massive cover-up. I'd expect that of the "money-men" but not of the people tasked with sorting this mess out. I wouldn't even be surprised if, in 20-30 years time, when people who lived in Stourport at the present begin to develop unusual [and fatal] types of cancer, historians looking back find a very different story to the one we are currently being fed. This needs to be discussed at national level, don't you think? Don't let them shove this under the carpet!! We should be making more "noise" about this. I'm absolutely furious. A relative who has COPD has been unable to leave the house all week and children with asthma must be suffering. This is a nightmare and we must not allow the guilty to get away with it!! kozmik
  • Score: 0

3:49pm Fri 21 Jun 13

smilingshoe says...

@kozmik I totally agree we do need to make more noise. We need some ideas on how this can be done in a collective way
@kozmik I totally agree we do need to make more noise. We need some ideas on how this can be done in a collective way smilingshoe
  • Score: 0

3:53pm Fri 21 Jun 13

smilingshoe says...

smilingshoe wrote:
The number is local, 01562 756300. You go to a calling handling stage first which takes some details and gives you a reference number ( which is great as at least you know the concern is logged, i know EHA haven't been logging) you are then passed through to the team based in kidderminster.
just to clarify I know that EHA were'nt logging calls in regards to concerns last night ( Thursday) as I asked the call handler whether my call would be logged and she told me it wouldn't as it was now no longer under their jurisdiction. Whether she was giving me accurate information is another matter
[quote][p][bold]smilingshoe[/bold] wrote: The number is local, 01562 756300. You go to a calling handling stage first which takes some details and gives you a reference number ( which is great as at least you know the concern is logged, i know EHA haven't been logging) you are then passed through to the team based in kidderminster.[/p][/quote]just to clarify I know that EHA were'nt logging calls in regards to concerns last night ( Thursday) as I asked the call handler whether my call would be logged and she told me it wouldn't as it was now no longer under their jurisdiction. Whether she was giving me accurate information is another matter smilingshoe
  • Score: 0

4:11pm Fri 21 Jun 13

kozmik says...

What you are describing is something called "obfuscation". It is one of the weapons the powers that be use against ordinary people who start asking awkward questions when they would much prefer you to keep your mouth shut. I'm sure we could all think of examples from our own lives where such tactics have been used against us... If anyone knows a famous person or "celeb", try to make them aware of what is happening, that might help...
What you are describing is something called "obfuscation". It is one of the weapons the powers that be use against ordinary people who start asking awkward questions when they would much prefer you to keep your mouth shut. I'm sure we could all think of examples from our own lives where such tactics have been used against us... If anyone knows a famous person or "celeb", try to make them aware of what is happening, that might help... kozmik
  • Score: 0

7:29pm Fri 21 Jun 13

Stephen Brown says...

We have a petition up and running. We have collected signatures today in Stourport. We want proper testing to assess the dangers. We will be back on the High Steet in Stourport tomorrow 11am until 2pm.

Please come and sign it if you want the authorities to test for dioxins and PCBs so we can send a message to the authorities that what they have done and said so far is not enough. Please spread the word.
We have a petition up and running. We have collected signatures today in Stourport. We want proper testing to assess the dangers. We will be back on the High Steet in Stourport tomorrow 11am until 2pm. Please come and sign it if you want the authorities to test for dioxins and PCBs so we can send a message to the authorities that what they have done and said so far is not enough. Please spread the word. Stephen Brown
  • Score: 0

8:44pm Fri 21 Jun 13

kozmik says...

Excellent. I will come & sign this petition. The official response to this disaster has been pathetic and they needn't think this one will go away...My friend just told me he had seen dead fish in the canal...how can they say burning plastic is not hazardous to the public? How can they?? I will be emailing our M.P. and I hope everyone reading this does, oo.
Excellent. I will come & sign this petition. The official response to this disaster has been pathetic and they needn't think this one will go away...My friend just told me he had seen dead fish in the canal...how can they say burning plastic is not hazardous to the public? How can they?? I will be emailing our M.P. and I hope everyone reading this does, oo. kozmik
  • Score: 0

9:14pm Fri 21 Jun 13

Stephen Brown says...

Our MP voted against a clean energy bill in Parliament by the way!
Our MP voted against a clean energy bill in Parliament by the way! Stephen Brown
  • Score: 0

9:48pm Fri 21 Jun 13

smilingshoe says...

I think this is great but you should also start an epetiton which can be shared and signed easily by people spreading it through social media. ``you'll get a much higher number of signatures, far more quickly

here's 2 websites that help set them up for free.

www.change.org/start
-a-petition and www.epetitions.net
I think this is great but you should also start an epetiton which can be shared and signed easily by people spreading it through social media. ``you'll get a much higher number of signatures, far more quickly here's 2 websites that help set them up for free. www.change.org/start -a-petition and www.epetitions.net smilingshoe
  • Score: 0

11:04am Sat 22 Jun 13

Maggie Would says...

I live 10 miles away and can smell it when the wind's in the 'right' direction. I feel for those in the surrounding area.
I live 10 miles away and can smell it when the wind's in the 'right' direction. I feel for those in the surrounding area. Maggie Would
  • Score: 0

8:25pm Sat 22 Jun 13

Stephen Brown says...

There is an online petition asking that testing for polluntants such as dioxins and PCBs gets done by the authorites following the Lawrence fire. They have only so far tested for particulates and irritants which does not give the full story. The burning of plastic can release such dioxins and PCBs which can be very harmful to health - humans and animals. http://www.ipetition
s.com/petition/lawre
nce-fire-dioxin-dang
er/
There is an online petition asking that testing for polluntants such as dioxins and PCBs gets done by the authorites following the Lawrence fire. They have only so far tested for particulates and irritants which does not give the full story. The burning of plastic can release such dioxins and PCBs which can be very harmful to health - humans and animals. http://www.ipetition s.com/petition/lawre nce-fire-dioxin-dang er/ Stephen Brown
  • Score: 0

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