Gloucestershire County Council Press Release

Firefighters tackling major blaze at quarry in Chipping Campden

More than 70 firefighters from Gloucestershire and Hereford and Worcester Fire & Rescue are currently tackling a major blaze in Chipping Campden.

This is the largest fire that has been attended by Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service since the Lydney scrapyard fire in February 2013.

Fifteen appliances have been sent to the fire at a storage facility at Westington Quarry, Conduit Hill in Chipping Campden. These include fire engines from Chipping Campden, Moreton-in-Marsh, Stow-on-the-Wold, Winchcombe, Cheltenham, Broadway, Evesham and Pebworth, two water carriers and the aerial appliance from Cheltenham. Firefighters are using four jets and six breathing apparatus.

The storage facility, which is 100 metres by 20 metres, is well alight and firefighters are expected to be detained at the scene for some time. The cause of the fire is currently unknown.

Chief Fire Officer, Jon Hall, who was at the scene earlier, said: "The call came in at 5.21am but it was clear that the fire had been going for some time when the crews arrived."

"It just goes to show that major incidents such as these can happen in even the most remote, rural locations. There were potential water supply issues but we've resolved that with the two water carriers from Cheltenham and Evesham."

"With such a large structure on fire, there are clearly risks for our crews, including high voltage power and potential gas cylinders, but we're working very closely with H & W Fire and Rescue to bring the fire under control as quickly as possible and to minimise the risks."

"The operational response has been very effective and we've had good support from our partners, not only colleagues at Hereford but South West Ambulance Service, who are on standby at the scene if needed."

Cllr Will Windsor-Clive, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: "When incidents happen close to the county border, it is vital that we provide a co-ordinated response with neighbouring Fire and Rescue Services so that we can call upon all the resources available quickly."

"This morning's fire at a remote location is a great example of close partnership working with H & W Fire Service providing a rapid, effective, operational response and I would like to thank all the firefighters, who I know are working exceptionally hard in dangerous conditions to deal with this major incident as quickly as possible."

ENDS

Issued by:Emma Smith, Gloucestershire County Council Media Team, 01452 426887, emma.j.smith@gloucestershire.gov.uk

16th November 2013