Disposable vape started fire that tore through tonne of cardboard at waste transfer station in Preston
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Eight fire engines were called to a blaze in at the Preston Transfer Station at Wallend Road shortly after 11.30am on Saturday, 10 June.
The fire involved approximately one tonne of cardboard and took over three hours to extinguish.
Now, firefighters believe it was started by the battery inside a disposable vape.
This is the latest in a series of blazes that have occurred in waste centres around the county.
County Councillor Shaun Turner, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change said: “This is the second blaze in just two months.
“The fires at our centres are not just dangerous, they also result in a loss of materials that were about to be successfully recycled and put a backlog on our services while the mess is cleaned up.
“This fire blazed through a tonne of cardboard – the same weight as a Volkswagen Beetle, so we are talking about vast quantities.”
A larger fire at Preston Transfer Station in April this year caused around 40 tonnes of recycling products to be lost as they had to be disposed of.
Batteries which have been thrown away in household rubbish bins cause about 700 fires every year, and the Environmental Services Association says these blazes cost fire services and waste operators around £158million each year.
Mr Turner added: “It is vitally important that batteries are disposed of in the right way, as they can cause fires if they are damaged or crushed, leading to potentially deadly consequences.
“Not only do the batteries cause horrifying fires at our waste facilities, potentially putting staff and firefighters at risk, but Lancashire residents also risk house fires and wheelie bin fires at their own residences too.
“The batteries are inside items that you might not realise, and that is what makes them so dangerous. Examples of 'hidden batteries' are those found in disposable vapes, electrical toothbrushes and children’s toys, phones and laptops.”
Firefighters used two breathing apparatus, one jet, three positive pressure ventilation units, and one thermal imaging camera to extinguish the flames.
Crews were in attendance for three hours and thirty minutes.