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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Company boss praises quick actions of staff and firefighters during blaze

Bosses at a Carlisle recycling company have praised firefighters and staff for their swift actions, which saved dozens of jobs.

North West Recycling fire photo
Sire manager Keith Graham, left and commercial manager John Crooks

The News & Star reported at the beginning of December on the blaze which broke out below a picking line at North West Recycling plant, on Rockcliffe Estate, Rockcliffe, north of Carlisle.

Six weeks later and John Crooks, commercial manager for North West Recycling and Brampton Skip Hire, has revealed how the business managed to resume work after just eight days.

“Often with fires as large as this in waste companies, the fire service make sure everyone is accounted for and then allow it to burn itself out,” he explained.

“But here the firefighters worked really hard to isolate the flames and stop it destroying the rest of the barn.”

Their efforts - and those of site manager Keith Graham, who has been singled out for praise for his efforts in moving some of the waste out of the way before it caught fire - meant the barn itself was saved.

Although the cause is unknown, the fire spread from underneath the line up to the rubber belt and rollers above.

It destroyed parts of the ceiling and smoke damage, but because it had been contained the company was able to replace the electrics and picking line itself, and resume work after eight days.

“It’s not optimal working conditions,” Mr Crooks admitted, “but the company employs 90 people and if we’d lost the barn it would have been very difficult for us to carry on as we are.

“We want to say a huge thank to the firefighters, to Keith and the staff who worked so hard to resume service and to our customers and the public who offered their support.”

He added: “We are fortunate. Many of these fires happen overnight, when there is no-one to raise the alarm.

“We have been very lucky.”

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