Shower of ash falls across Coventry after 110 firefighters tackle major blaze

People across Coventry and Warwickshire woke this morning to find ash particles on their cars, bins, barbecues and in the street after a recycling plant went up in flames last night (June 12). A huge blaze tore through the Smurfit Kappa packaging plant in Nechells, Birmingham around 7.30pm.

Fire crews from Coventry and Nuneaton were dispatched to the blaze which has now been declared as a ‘major incident’. Around 110 firefighters and 20 fire engines were needed at the scene to help extinguish the fire.

And affects of the fire have been seen throughout the West Midlands today as the battle to resolve the situation continues. Hundreds of people have said they have seen ash everywhere this morning.

READ MORE: Coventry and Nuneaton crews scrambled as huge fire tears through Nechells recycling plant

James Pattison, who lives in Tile Hill, said the ash was on the cars in his road and scattered over vehicles parked at the CBS Arena. He told CoventryLive: “I was on the way out to work and presumed it was from a neighbour having a fire or BBQ in the evening.

“But then when I pulled into the car park, I noticed it blowing up as the cars drove over the car park. It was settled on the cars that were parked overnight. Very odd!”



Ash pictured on a BBQ in Coventry this morning
Ash pictured on a BBQ in Coventry this morning

CoventryLive reported on the blaze this morning. Hayley O’Rourke commented on Facebook: “My car was covered in ash this morning in Coventry. I did wonder where it all came from.” Penny Carter added: “This explains why our car’s covered in ash.”

One man who lives in the Aldermans Green Road area said: “I came out of my house this morning to take my wife to work and kids to school and was confused about why my car was covered in what looked like salt and pepper. I scraped it with a finger and it came off a bit like dust.

“It was bizarre. I saw my neighbour doing the same thing and we were so confused.

“Then I saw on Facebook there has been a fire over in Birmingham but I couldn’t believe the ash could travel so far. But there was no other explanation so it must have been that.”

The fire has been raging through the night after thousands of tonnes of cardboard and paper went up in flames. A spokesman for Nuneaton Fire Station said: “We have been providing cover in the West Midlands following the fire at Smurfit Kappa.

“There have been 20 pumps at the fire so we have been covering part of the West Midlands.” West Midlands Fire Service has said that crews have made ‘excellent progress’ overnight, but it is expected that they will be at the scene for at least the next 48 hours.

Fortunately there have been no reports of any casualties. Police, ambulance, the Environment Agency, Severn Trent Water, and on-site staff have all been involved in the ongoing operation.

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