Raging industrial estate fire in St Ives dubbed accidental by investigators

Fire at Caxton Road, St Ives.

Fire at Caxton Road, St Ives. - Credit: Archant

Fire investigators believe a blaze which left a recycling centre in St Ives “seriously damaged” yesterday (September 5), was caused by accident.

Fire at Caxton Road, St Ives.

Fire at Caxton Road, St Ives. - Credit: Archant

More than 30 firefighters attended the incident, in Caxton Road, and suspect a lithium battery was caught up in the bailing process of recycled electrical items.

Crews used jets, including an aerial one, to try and contain the fire, with the Chief Fire Officer, Chris Strickland, attending to check on the team’s welfare.

The blaze was scaled down by 10pm yesterday evening, with one crew left to dampen down the scene and keep watch overnight.

Although the team handed the incident to the business owner at 7.30am this morning, crews will return to make inspections and dampen down where needed.

Chris Cannon: St Ives fire

Chris Cannon: St Ives fire - Credit: Archant

Station Commander Dave Lynch, one of the officers in charge of the incident, said: “The main building where the fire started has been completely destroyed by fire, however, fire crews worked extremely hard to prevent the fire from spreading anywhere else.

“The situation potentially could have been a lot worse as there are a number of other industrial units and businesses in very close proximity and had it not been for the skill and hard work of the crews, there could have easily been more than one unit seriously damaged by fire. External paint work of two other businesses has been damaged by radiated heat.”

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Thirteen fire engines attended the scene, including the service’s Incident Command Unit, with police also called and the nearby BP garage shut as a precaution.

A passer-by, Chris Cannon, said the smoke “was a huge great thing.”

Ian Johnson: St Ives fire

Ian Johnson: St Ives fire - Credit: Archant

Mr Lynch added: “All the business owners, staff and members of the public from the surrounding properties were fantastic yesterday and were very supportive of the crews’ work, which our firefighters really appreciated. We would like to thank the community for its support during tough incidents like these.”