Wellingborough industrial estate blaze 'accidental caused by sparks'

Fire at Leyland Industrial Estate Image copyright Kris Shortland
Image caption More than 60 firefighters tackled the blaze at its height

A blaze which engulfed a recycling plant in Northamptonshire was most likely caused by sparks from a hand-held grinder, the fire service said.

The fire at Environmental Storage Solutions on the Leyland Trading Estate, Wellingborough, started at about 08:30 BST on 4 April.

The fire gutted the building and took four days to completely extinguish.

An investigation concluded the cause was accidental and that the fire began while fridges were being dismantled.

Image caption The plant was completely gutted by the fire

At its height more than 60 firefighters from three counties battled the fire at the factory on Irthlingborough Road, which recycles refrigeration units.

A plume of black smoke billowing from the plant was described at the time as "hazardous", and residents living nearby were warned to keep doors and windows closed.

The flames were extinguished later that day but officers monitored "hot spots" for a number of days before the building was deemed safe to be handed back to its owners for demolition.

Image copyright Terry Bowkett
Image caption The plume of smoke from the recycling plant was described as "hazardous"

Mark Ainge, head of fire prevention and community protection at Northamptonshire Fire Service, said it was likely stray sparks from a grinder set fire to material while workers were removing rivets from fridges or freezers during the decommissioning process.

Image copyright Terry Bowkett
Image caption Roads in the area were closed by police

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