Firefighters tackle large early morning blaze at Preston car plant

The firefighting operation under way at the car recycling centre on Longridge Road
The firefighting operation under way at the car recycling centre on Longridge Road
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A large blaze in the early hours of this morning at a Preston recycling plant - involving up to 150 vehicles - has been brought under control by firefighters.

Dozens of firefighters tackled the blaze at the Recycling Lives plant on Longridge Road after receiving the first emergency call shortly after 1am.

Around 100 cars were alight when firefighters arrived at the scene.

A plume of smoke rose up into the night sky and residents were warned to keep windows closed.

Lancashire Police assisted with the temporary closure of Longridge Road which has now reopened.

A total of 12 fire engines and crews – two from Preston and Burnley and one from Penwortham, Bamber Bridge, Fulwood, Chorley, Leyland, Hyndburn, Blackburn and Darwen rushed to the incident.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service has now reported in a latest update on the blaze: "The firefighting response has contained and reduced the scale of the fire significantly and firefighters are working steadily to bring the incident to a stop.

"Site contractors have assisted with the use of mechanical diggers to create fire breaks.

"Water used to extinguish the fire has been contained on site, preventing pollution of water courses and surface water drainage.

"The smoke plume is much less than it was but residents living nearby are advised to keep windows closed and with some disruption to local traffic due to the movement of fire engines and hoses laid in the road, we ask that people stay away from the site until the incident is over.

"There have been no casualties and the cause of the fire is to be established."

Fire engines and crews required for remaining work at the scene have now been reduced to four.

A spokesman for Recycling Lives said: "At around 1am on Sunday security teams detected a fire at our Recycling Park on Longridge Road in Preston. Emergency services were called and thanks to the work of fire crews, along with a number of our own team who quickly attended site, it was extinguished by 4am.

"Thanks to our first-rate environmental and safety processes and training no-one was injured and damage was able to be easily contained.

"We are now conducting a thorough investigation and are pleased to be able to safely restart operations as normal tomorrow.

"We are extremely grateful to the fire service and our team members whose work and efforts were exceptional."