LYME Regis and Charmouth fire crews were among those called to tackle a major blaze at a Dorset Council depot near Weymouth on Sunday.
A fire at the Dorset Council depot on Chickerell Road in Chickerell, near Weymouth, has now been brought under control by Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service after causing significant damage to a fleet of waste collection vehicles.
More than 50 999 calls were received after the fire broke out shortly after 2pm on Sunday, as plumes of black smoke were seen across the Weymouth area and a number of explosions were heard.
Approximately 90 firefighters have been on site tackling the blaze, which has affected multiple refuse lorries and ancillary vehicles, although adjacent buildings have been saved.
Fifteen fire crews attended the incident – from Weymouth, Portland, Bridport, Dorchester, Wareham, Charmouth, Poole, Beaminster, Lyme Regis, Sherborne, Swanage, Blandford and Hamworthy – together with aerial ladder platforms from Weymouth and Westbourne, water carriers from Poole and Yeovil, and support appliances from Poole, Hamworthy and Gillingham.
Water supply was an issue, so the high volume pump from Christchurch was deployed, but this wasn’t needed and was returned.
With the fire contained, the service’s attendance was scaled back from 6pm Sunday evening to eight crews, two water carriers and one aerial ladder platform. Firefighters remained on scene through the night and into Monday.
At this stage, the cause of the fire is unknown and a full investigation has been launched.
Dorset Council suspended waste services in the Weymouth area on Monday due to the impact of the fire. Further updates can be found on the website www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk or via their social media.
The cost of replacing refuse lorries damaged could amount to almost £3million, councillors were told yesterday, with each vehicle costing £185,000.
Finance senior officer Jim McManus said it was his understanding that up to £500,000 would be covered from council financial reserves as the authority self-insured for many of its claims – the rest would be the subject of a claim to its insurers.