Huge Waterbeach fire still burning ’caused health issues’

A fire at a waste recycling site in Waterbeach continues to blaze for a second day today.

Around 250 tonnes of landfill waste at Amey Waterbeach Waste Management Park in Ely Road caught fire at around 1am yesterday morning (August 30).

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue said it has been left with the on-site team to burn out, which is anticipated will take a couple more days.

He stressed that residents in the immediate area are still being encouraged to close their doors and windows as a precautionary measure.

Following the fire, which a worker from Amey speculated could have been started by a battery explosion, residents have been reporting feeling unwell.

Sophie Garrod, 39, of Waterbeach, told the News: “I got up early yesterday to walk my dog Monty and you could smell an acrid smell and I immediately felt sick.

“My throat was sore for the rest of the day and other people have reported similar respiratory symptoms.

I feel fine today; I think the rain has helped clear the air, but there has been no statement from Amey and we want to know what’s happened.

“It’s all been through third parties and you expect them to be a bit more forthcoming about it.”

500 tonnes of recycled waste is on fire in Waterbeach

There has also been complaints about the pollution travelling further afield.

A 18-year-old resident of Providence Way, Waterbeach, a mile away from where the fire took place, claims she and her family has suffered headaches due to the smoke pollution.

She said: “There is a definite smoky smell in the air. My dad didn’t know about the fire, as we’ve had nothing through the door to tell us to keep windows and doors shut but when he went outside he said the air outside smelt ‘electrical’.

“Both my parents and I suffered from headaches yesterday which could have been a result of the smoke, and the washing had a bonfire aroma.

“Thankfully it seems to have worn off a bit this morning.”

The fire service will not carrying out any further investigation as it is not being treated as a suspicious fire.

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said they are looking into the situation and will issue a statement later today (August 31).

The site is still closed for small trade waste.

Site operator Amey has been contacted for a comment but yesterday account director Chris Smiles said they will continue to work with the fire service to understand the cause of the blaze.

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