Sunday 9.30am update: Cause of fire at Grundon in Ewelme not yet known + video + pictures

The plant on fire, from reader @Luuunatik

The plant on fire, from reader @Luuunatik

First published in News
Last updated
Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Assistant Editor

A SAFETY cordon around the Grundon waste plant that was on fire last night has been lifted.

The blaze in an area of hazardous chemical waste broke out at about 7.20pm yesterday and a 200 metre cordon was put up as 60 firefighters from 10 crews were called in.

Fire and police spokesman this morning said it was not yet known what caused the fire, which was contained in a building where recycling is sorted.

It is not yet known what material was on fire, Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue service said. 

He added: "There is no risk to surrounding areas and the cordon has been lifted."

Fire service incident commander Nigel Wilson said: "The incident at Grundons last night was well managed by the fire and rescue service and colleagues from a range of partner organisations. I would like to pay tribute to all those who played a part in dealing with a challenging situation in such a professional and effective way.

  • New video, courtesy or reader Lu Anthony

"The fire was dealt with last night and we will be going back today as a precaution to check that the materials on the site do not pose any risk."

People living up to 10 miles away were told to keep their doors and windows shut because of fears over the toxicity of the huge plume of smoke from the fire.

At 1am Oxfordshire fire and rescue service said the blaze was out.

A fire service spokesman said: "The fire at Grundon Wast Management Ltd, Ewelme, is now under control and Oxfordshire county council's fire and rescue service is now scaling down its operation.

"The incident, involving an area which dealt with chemical waste, has been successfully dealt with. There are no issues with contamination and the risk from smoke is low.

"The fire and rescue service will remain on site for the rest of the night as a precautionary measure."

Another spokesman has told the Oxford Mail this morning: "We are now continuing to rotate the crews.

"Further assessments will be done now that it is daylight and into normal hours."

No one has been reported as injured and it has not been confirmed yet if it was hazardous waste that was on fire. The plant has dealt with 7,500 tonnes of hazardous material a year in the past.

  • From reader Mark Goldie

Roads around Ewelme remain shut this morning.

As well as firefighters on 10 fire engines, the fire service sent a water carrier, incident support unit, rescue tender and what has been described as an aerial appliance.

The police helicopter, which took the pictures above and below, was also called in, as were police officers on the ground. Staff from the Environment Agency, the county council's emergency planning team, South Oxfordshire District Council, Grundon, Thames Water, the National Chemicals Emergency Centre and volunteers were also involved.

At its height, the plume of smoke could be seen from people living in Didcot, Steventon and Goring.

Oxford Mail:

Oxford Mail:

Oxford Mail: The fire at Grundon, courtesy of reader Luuunatik

Oxford Mail:

Oxford Mail:

  • These three pictures were from reader @Luuunatik

Oxford Mail:

  • A picture from reader Andrew White

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