Smethwick scrap metal yard fire caused by 'electrical fault'

Fire at yard in Smethwick The plume of smoke could be seen from the middle of Birmingham at one point

A fire at a scrap metal yard in the West Midlands was caused by a "possible electrical fault in one of the scrap cars", the fire service has said.

At its height over 50 firefighters tackled the blaze at Sims Metal Management, on Rabone Lane, Smethwick.

Crews were called to the yard at about 09:45 BST and are now damping down.

Businesses and residents are being advised to keep windows and doors closed as a precaution. Rabone Lane remains closed, police said.

Station commander Mal Fellows said crews have been using water from a nearby canal to help tackle the blaze.

'Metal salvageable'

Mr Fellows said: "We're down to five fire engines and 30 people on site still damping down.

Water being pumped from a canal Fire crews pumped water from a nearby canal to help tackle the blaze

"We've had our investigation teams there and they've confirmed there are no suspicious circumstances and it was due to a possible electrical fault in one of the scrap cars.

"It is a lot lighter now, there's small bits of smoke about.

"We have between 30 and 40 cars that are called unpolluted cars that have all the petrol and oil stripped ready for shredding.

"All those cars have been destroyed by fire.

"Metal doesn't burn that well so they can be salvaged."

There were no reported casualties.

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