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ACTION CALL AFTER BLAZE; Scrapyard smoke pall visible for miles.

FIRE fighters were today still at a Coventry scrapyard dealing with the aftermath of a blaze which sent up clouds of thick black smoke visible across the city.

Some 65 fire fighters from across the Midlands were brought in to deal with the blaze, which started yesterday at European Metal Recycling Ltd off Stoney Stanton Road, Foleshill.

People living close to the scrapyard, which was the site of a major blaze in August 1997, today called for action to stop any further fires.

At the height of yesterday's blaze flames shot up to 20ft high and smoke could be seen from miles around.

Thirteen fire engines were called to the site, known locally as Jackson's Scrapyard, at 3.20pm.

They were at the scene for more than four hours dealing with the blaze which engulfed hundreds of scrap vehicles piled six cars high.

Their efforts were hampered by fears the columns of vehicles could collapse upon them as well as facing problems of sporadic explosions.

Fire crews remained at the scrapyard damping down the smouldering ashes all night and a fire spokesman said he expected the incident to be closed down later today.

Three pumps were still there at 7.30am. The cause of the fire is still being investigated.

The previous fire prompted residents to collect a 400-name petition demanding protection from noise and the threat of further fires.

Mark Spatcher, aged 24, of Leicester Causeway, said his two-year-old son Callum had developed asthma since moving close to the yard.

He said: "We don't know whether the fumes from the scrapyard caused the asthma but he didn't have it at our last house.''

Fork lift driver Tom Hollyoak, aged 37, who lives directly opposite the yard's entrance in Stoney Stanton

Road, said: "I would like to see more safety at the site or top shut it down would be better.

"It is not very nice. You don't know what fumes are coming over from there."

Cllr Gordon Wright (Lab, Foleshill) said: "I certainly said the last time this could happen again and it has.

"EMR have co-operated to a very great degree with the environmental health people and they have done everything we have requested them to do except move.

"EMR have a new site in mind but there are some planning difficulties."

No-one from the scrapyard was today available for comment.

Officers from the Environment Agency and Coventry City Council's Environmental Health Department were at the scene yesterday to monitor toxic content in the fumes.

As crowds were attracted to the blaze by the trail of smoke there were long tailbacks on Stoney Stanton Road and on the ring road.

Firefighters used water from the nearby Coventry Canal as they struggled to control the blaze.

Station officer Dave Borrell, from Foleshill Fire Station, said: "There was about 200 tonnes of scrap metal on fire and our main job was to isolate it to stop it spreading to the rest."
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Author:Hart, Nigel; Hargrave, Paul
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Aug 14, 1999
Words:491
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